Developer Randy Magers is seeking to rezone an acre across the street from his brother Bryan’s Bear Village development and adjacent to his planned dorm for Missouri State University.
According to a bill for public hearing at Springfield City Council’s Oct. 2 meeting, Magers Properties III LLC proposes to build a mixed-use development with five retail spaces on the first floor and 20 microefficiency apartments on the second floor. Magers Properties III already owns the land at 806-816 S. Kimbrough Ave. and 614-616 E. Madison St. Currently zoned as a high-density, multifamily district, five structures are on the site: two apartment buildings, a house, garage and an office for the apartments. If council approves the request in its Oct. 16 meeting, the land would be rezoned to a planned development district, and the current buildings would be demolished.
The development would span a maximum 8,000 square feet of retail space behind the proposed site for a new MSU residence hall at the corner of Madison and Holland Avenue. Bryan Magers’ firm, Bryan Properties, was the sole respondent in February to the university’s request for information on the construction of a 400-bed dorm. The earliest anticipated completion of the dorm is 2019, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.
“There’s a lot of foot traffic there. That dorm is going to be a tall, seven-story structure,” said Derek Lee of Lee Engineering and Associates LLC, who represented Magers Properties at the council meeting. “I think those people are going to need a place to buy a cup of coffee.”
Lee said H Design Group LLC is the selected architect for Randy Magers’ project.
Shannon Handwerker, vice president of operations for affiliated company Magers Management Co. I LP, told SBJ that decisions on the general contractor, project cost or estimated completion date had not been made. Magers could not be reached by deadline.
Magers and company currently are developing Magers Crossing, an estimated $3.5 million south-side shopping center designed for 10 retail storefronts, 10 offices and seven restaurants.
Council unanimously renewed an intergovernmental agreement for the purchase of aerial photography to be used in geographic information system images by several area entities.
Along with Springfield’s Information Systems Department, City Utilities of Springfield, Greene and Christian counties, the cities of Nixa, Ozark and Republic, and the Ozarks Transportation Organization will share a one-time cost of $268,195 to contract for services with Pictometry International Corp.
The Henrietta, New York-based company develops software for 3-D aerial photography to pull the high-resolution images into GIS platforms. According to the contract, Pictometry will capture oblique imagery, aerial shots taken from a 45-degree angle with the ground, in late February or early March 2018. The coverage area is all of Greene and Christian counties, about 1,323 square miles, council documents read.
“This is particularly important for land use analysis, annexation determinations, development reviews, emergency management, law enforcement, planning, the Fire Department’s pre-plan responses for major structures and facilities, and long-range planning,” the council document reads.
Regularly updating and maintaining the GIS helps city staff to manage new development, as well as monitor changes in infrastructure and the environment, according to the city’s website. The GIS also makes interactive maps available to the public for increased transparency.
The city of Springfield’s share is $30,581, funded by the Department of Public Works as well as the eighth-cent transportation sales tax. Springfield began developing its GIS technology in 1990, according to the city’s website.
The city and the rest of the group first purchased the services in March 2009. With approval now through 2018, Springfield’s Director of Information Systems Jeff Coiner said they’re in talks now to extend the contract through 2020.
“It is cost-effective to do so, and we want to continue to provide new aerial photography every two years,” he said.
Pit bull ban
Council members narrowly voted in favor of changes to the pit bull dog provisions under Chapter 18 of the city code. A pit bull ban was approved, 5-4, with council members Craig Hosmer, Richard Ollis, Mike Schilling and Kristi Fulnecky in opposition.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, new pit bulls will be prohibited within city limits, though current owners will be allowed to keep their pets as long as they meet documentary requirements. Owners must pay an annual registration fee of $50, have their pit bull spayed or neutered, and provide documentary proof of those conditions to the city animal shelter.
At the regular council luncheon Oct. 3, Police Chief Paul Williams presented the Springfield Police Department’s 2017-19 goals and objectives.
Williams listed six goals the department has been implementing since January, including recruitment, retention and career development.
Career development objectives include temporarily assigning officers to specialized units for increased knowledge and tasking first line supervisors with career mentoring.
As for recruiting new police officers, an employee financial incentive of $500 for officer recruitment disappeared during the financial downturn, but Williams said it recently was reinstated. Other objectives include hiring an additional full-time recruiter.
“We’re doing pretty good,” Williams said. “But recruiting people to be police officers in an ever-increasing competitive environment has been more difficult in the last couple of years.”
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The move would come with a new property tax levied on residents of regional school districts.
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