Thursday, May 16, 2024

Largest development project since Joplin tornado to come before City Council Monday

(From the City of Joplin)

Property developer Woodsonia Real Estate Inc. is proposing an approximately $375 million mixed-use development. If built, it would be the largest such project in the city of Joplin since the 2011 tornado or even since the opening of the Northpark Mall in 1972.

“The City of Joplin has seen an enormous amount of development over the last 13-plus years, and we thank so many partners, philanthropists, businesses, and developers who have helped our community rebuild,” says City Manager Nick Edwards, 

“But this development could further accelerate future growth and the opportunities that contribute towards a thriving community.”

The Joplin City Council will be presented with the proposal at their May 20 meeting.

The project, Prospect Village, will redevelop over 78 acres to include a large indoor and outdoor sports complex, parkland, and a trail with water features, anchor retail space (ideal for a grocery store), 350 units of multi-family housing, hotels, and additional retail spaces. The project is located on the former site of the International Paper Company, land which has been unused for decades.

The property presents various barriers to development which Woodsonia is willing to invest to overcome. Those barriers include an existing regulated floodplain and floodway that covers a majority of the property, a high-pressure gas main that runs through the site, a Waters of the U.S. assessment which found the site has 1.9 acres of wetlands and intermittent stream (which will likely require special permitting through the Corps of Engineers before work can begin), and the site’s status as an EPA Super Fund Clean Up Site since 1990 due to prior uses for mining, solid waste landfill and other environmental conditions requiring clean-up and other remediation before construction subject to Missouri Department of Natural Resources approval. Overcoming these barriers would also require commitment by the City of Joplin and the support of surrounding commercial property owners.

Woodsonia, based in Omaha, Nebraska, has a successful history of developing projects in Joplin, including the recent 32nd Street Place development, which includes a new Menards, The Boulevard Apartments (250 units), and a future B&B Movie Theater and Entertainment Complex. The 32nd Street Place development also utilized Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and a Community Improvement District (CID) to transform a previously blighted area of the city into a vibrant mixed-use development bringing new retail, housing, entertainment, jobs, and recreation. Similar TIF and CID financing are proposed for Prospect Village as a way to achieve those same goals on a property that continues to recover from environmental concerns stemming from the site’s prior life as a paper mill.

“Prospect Village will be a transformational project for both current and future generations of Joplin residents and will become a destination for those across the region to enjoy,” says Woodsonia project developer Drew Snyder. “We have a vision to transform this challenged site into something the people of Joplin can be proud of while also creating economic and recreational benefits.”

“This property has been very unattractive to developers for a long time due to all the complicating factors this land faces,” says City Manager Nick Edwards. “We are thrilled that Woodsonia is looking at this property and willing to go through extraordinary effort to polish this diamond in the rough. This may be the only chance this property gets to be renovated into something that could greatly benefit our community.”

Edwards continues, “It promises to help attract families be able to enjoy sports tournaments closer to home, drive tourism and draw spending to local businesses from visitors who would attend sporting events, create jobs, bring more retail and entertainment options to the community while increasing housing stock and affordability through supply and competition in rental options. City staff has collaborated closely with Woodsonia behind the scenes for about a year as they developed this vision and concept, and we’re excited the proposal is finally well enough defined so that the public can see what they want to create for our community.”

“We’re also hopeful that a grocery store may choose to locate within this development which would certainly address a common concern we hear about often from citizens,” adds Edwards. “We appreciate the time and effort Woodsonia has invested so far and that they have listened deeply to the community’s wishes and priorities in trying to design a development that would fulfill long-standing and well-known needs. I, for one, hope all the details and many steps of complex work that lay ahead can be worked out to bring this to fruition. 

"That being said, we also want projects like this to be done the right way in the best interests of the entire Joplin community. Woodsonia have certainly shown their capability to do this kind of work the right way and to implement their vision at a high quality. We appreciate their investment in the community whether this project can be completed or not.”

For more detailed information about this project, we encourage the public to attend or watch the broadcast of our May 20 council meeting. More information and project renderings will be released following Woodsonia’s presentation to the Council.

View it on website


Anonymous said...

This is a great I suppose, but it sure would be nice if we could fight crime better instead of giving thugs more places to commit crimes

Anonymous said...

Wallace Bajjali, Round Two

Anonymous said...

And like the Joplin tornado it'll probably leave nothing but destruction in its path.

Anonymous said...

Exactly we must never forget that, or we will be doomed to repeat it.