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Rebecca Green | SBJ

A Conversation With ... Brad Thessing

Owner, Thessing Commercial Properties LLC

Posted online

Glenstone Avenue and Kearney Street has been identified as an entryway to our city and one corridor that is key to a long-term city vision. At this intersection, you’ve helped bring in Whataburger, Chick-fil-A and Take 5 Oil Change. Do you have more plans for this area?
I was also involved with the Kum & Go and, years ago, the Freddy’s – and some tenants across the street, Crumbl Cookies. We’re constantly looking at other opportunities up here, but it’s going to get to access and proximity to (Interstate) 44. We’re looking at possibly doing some stuff to the west of (the Chick-fil-A) site that Tim [O’Reilly] currently owns. It’s somewhat of a gateway into Springfield off of I-44 onto Glenstone. It’s nice to see it take shape after all these years considering what it used to look like versus today.

Your projects benefited from tax increment financing and other incentives through this area being designated as a qualified opportunity zone. Was that a requirement for your interest in developing in this area?
The city blighted this whole [Kearney] corridor between Glenstone and Kansas Expressway. So, then we as developers don’t have to go and do the blight study and the time that takes to do that. We would’ve had to do a blight study if they didn’t blight it because we would’ve had to do incentives in order to do the redevelopment, from the demo and all the infrastructure that’s involved and the cost involved with that.

Do you have an idea of the estimated value of those incentives?
It’s in the millions.

What type of tenants are interested in coming to Springfield?
We have retail tenants and restaurant groups that are always looking for the right area to be at. It’s all demographically driven.

What do they see in Springfield?
I would say how it’s kind of spread out and we have the different municipalities that surround Springfield that helps bring in all the daytime traffic. So, the corridors around the city are very popular and continue to carry a lot of traffic.

What other projects do you have planned?
We’re working on a fairly large development in Ozark that’s across the street from Lowe’s and Walmart. We have an over 20-acre development there, and that’s all incentive driven, too, in the city of Ozark.

That’s not blighted property, is it?
The state has changed the laws on blighted agricultural properties. We still have incentives that we can do for (community improvement districts) and tax abatements for the infrastructure cost.

What will be developed there?
We’re dealing with national tenants: retail, grocer, restaurant groups. It’s kind of a diversity stop. Hotels. [Highway] 65 is being expanded now all the way to South Street, Business 14, so that’ll help continue to carry that traffic. It’ll be six lanes of traffic going toward there and then the (Missouri Department of Transportation) and the county and the city has approved all South Street from 65 going east, so now there’s five lanes with a turning lane. It’s probably two years from the tenants opening.

Can you share any names of tenants?
Not at this time.

Branson city officials have said they made changes to their development process and are now open for business. There’s been a thought that Springfield is not as business friendly as neighboring communities. Do you have that sense of that challenge and opportunity?
We have projects in Branson and currently doing projects at Branson, and they’ve been very open to do it. Springfield has a little more layers than Branson does, so it takes a little longer to get things done or pushed through the city. I think they’re in the process of trying to work on that development process and trying to speed it up a little bit. It’s more of having the correct people there to answer questions and to move things forward in a timely manner that we as developers are always trying to accomplish a fast way to get things done because it’s a slow process.

What projects do you have in Branson?
I’m working with some national food tenants on a couple of projects that we’re doing across from the Chick-fil-A development that I was involved with. No names yet, but close.

What’s the status on Crumbl Cookies opening at the northwest corner of Glenstone and Sunshine? They had projected a late 2023 opening.
They’re shooting for early March. It’ll draw a lot. And they’re working on a Crumbl Cookies on that south side of town, too. It’s a different licensed franchisee.

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