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City Council is expected to vote on a resolution Monday night that would further a public-private partnership that officials describe as a “transformational economic catalyst.”Mayor Ken McClure says the $55 million-dollar project in the IDEA Commons - an 88-acre live-work urban research park in downtown Springfield - would continue Springfield’s impressive downtown revitalization and stimulate further economic development in the City’s innovation district.
The Council resolution, if approved, would signal the intent of the City to provide $2.8 million in stormwater and streetscape improvements, along with approval of tax increment financing (TIF) and the issuance of industrial development revenue bonds. This action would support the redevelopment of a portion of Missouri State University’s (MSU) Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) and the surrounding IDEA Commons property.
The IDEA Commons project is being developed by MSU and The Vecino Group and includes a 100,000-square-foot office building, a 30,000-square-foot expansion to JVIC, a 400-space parking garage, a welcome center/retail space, green space and other amenities. The office building will be privately owned and financed, while the parking garage will be owned by the university. MSU currently owns and operates JVIC.
Public infrastructure improvements: $2.8 million
Stormwater improvements to the IDEA Commons area would include a large box culvert (two 15-foot by 10-foot cells) installed diagonally across the development site to contain Jordan Creek through the area and prevent future flooding. The estimated cost for the stormwater improvements is $1.8 million.
Streetscape improvements around the project are estimated at $1 million and include new sidewalks, street lighting and landscaping along Boonville Avenue and Phelps Street. City staff proposes that both the stormwater and streetscape improvements be funded through the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax reinvestment funds. Allocation of these funds requires additional City Council approval.
The stormwater and streetscape improvements would be listed as reimbursable TIF expenses in the event that TIF revenues exceed the university's $3 million contribution to the JVIC expansion.
“Transformational and ambitious projects typically require complex financing strategies. This one is no exception,” says Mary Lilly Smith, the City’s director of Planning & Development. In addition to the City, MSU has worked with the Missouri Development Finance Board and The Vecino Group to develop the funding strategy for the project.
City Responsibility: Approval of Incentives
Tax Increment Financing:
Earlier this year, Senator Jay Wasson was instrumental proposing legislative changes needed in order to get the IDEA Commons project named as a state tax increment financing (TIF) project in the state budget. This will capture half of the state withholding taxes generated by jobs moving into the TIF district. Missouri Department of Economic Development approval is required for the state TIF.
For the project to qualify for a state tax increment financing plan (TIF), however, the City must also establish a local TIF district. The City must commit that the local TIF will capture 100 percent of the incremental increase in real property taxes and 50 percent of the incremental increase in economic activity taxes (primarily sales taxes).
Chapter 100 Industrial Development Bonds:
A proposed Chapter 100 Industrial Development Bond issue will make the office building tax exempt, however, a Transportation Development District (TDD) controlled by the Missouri Development Finance Board would be established that would require the developer to pay a special assessment equal to the full real property taxes owed on the office building. These funds will be used to partially fund the MSU parking deck.
The Chapter 100 industrial development plan would provide a sales tax exemption on construction materials as an incentive to the developer.
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For more information, contact Cora Scott, City of Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-380-3352 or email@example.com.
About IDEA Commons
IDEA Commons is an 88-acre live-work urban research park in downtown Springfield bordered by Chestnut Expressway, Water Street, Campbell Avenue and Washington Avenue. The park was a collaborative community effort by the City, MSU, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and other partners to rejuvenate downtown and stimulate economic development by renovating historic buildings, creating new jobs and retaining talent by creating a space especially for entrepreneurs, inventors, artists and designers.
Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) Expansion: $15 million
Missouri State University owns and operates JVIC as a state-of-the-art research facility with an applied research emphasis on biomaterials, nanotechnology, carbon-based electronics, biomedical instrument development and energy. The proposed 30,000 square feet expansion will accommodate expansion needs for existing JVIC businesses and opportunities for new business partners.
Parking Deck: $11.8 million
The proposed parking deck will be owned by Missouri State University and will provide approximately 400 spaces. These spaces will serve both Missouri State and the proposed private office building.
Office Building: $25.3 million
This privately-owned office building will provide much-needed office space in the downtown market. The structure will include approximately 100,000 square feet of Class A office space with some retail activity on the first floor. This project includes the courtyard/open space over the stormwater culvert.