FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield is nearing completion of a corridor study for a portion of Kearney Street between Kansas Expressway and Glenstone Avenue. At the April 25 City Council Lunch, PGAV Planners presented ideas for the revitalization of Kearney Street, including an identification of sites for redevelopment, placemaking strategies and recommendations for economic development tools to facilitate development along the three-mile stretch of Kearney Street.
Among the key findings was that the Kearney Street corridor has the potential to capture additional retail sales from the available $95 million in unmet household demand in the trade area around Kearney Street. PGAV recommended the development of a deep value clothing retailer such as T.J. Maxx or Ross because these discounted fashion chains have had growing sales and are opening hundreds of stores while they capture market share from flagging retailers such as Macy’s.
PGAV also recommended a food hall that would serve as a business incubator for entrepreneurs and provide a place for people to enjoy a variety of prepared foods in a social setting. Food halls have been a growing trend in urban redevelopment, filling in empty big box stores or vacant department stores. Other ideas for the food and beverage sector include a food truck court and the adapted reuse of garages or gas stations into restaurants.
To improve the corridor’s visual appeal and increase safety for pedestrians, PGAV recommended painted pedestrian crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals and tree plantings in center medians or along sidewalks. Crosswalks could also increase residential connectivity to Doling Park, which is a major asset for the area. Wayfinding signage directing visitors and residents to Doling Park was proposed as well.
Another placemaking strategy suggested for Kearney Street was to capitalize on the corridor’s historic connection to the Route 66 Mother Road as an asset that could spur tourism and economic revitalization. PGAV suggested that the City commemorate the corridor’s heritage through historic Route 66 plaques and branding as well as capitalizing on the nostalgia for cruising, custom cars and drive-in restaurants. Recently, the City Council voted unanimously to support a resolution allowing cruising on the second Friday of each month.
The final PGAV study will be completed in May and will be available at springfieldmo.gov.
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For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-380-3352, Sarah Kerner, Interim Director of Economic Development at 417-864-1035 or Jenny Ryan, PGAV Planners, at 314-402-5595.