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TIF approved for redevelopment of downtown church

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January 24, 2017
The Springfield City Council approved the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) request for the redevelopment of the former First United Methodist Church on Jan. 17, 2017. The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, The Springfield Project (TSP) and Economic Growth Corporation plan to redevelop the property at the corner of Fifth and Capitol into a mixed-use facility with commercial and residential space.   The construction team will include Evan Lloyd Associates Inc. as the architect and O’Shea Builders as the construction manager. 
 
The Chamber and The Springfield Project will occupy the former church sanctuary, which will be redeveloped as office space.  An additional 1,400 square feet of main floor office space will be available in the building’s education wing.  Current plans call for the remainder of the education wing to house twenty-five (25) residential units, sixteen (16) one bedroom apartments and nine (9) two bedroom apartments.
 
The completion of the project is dependent upon a number of factors. The project plans to utilize at least four different types of financing including New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), Federal Historic Tax Credits and Tax Increment Financing (TIF), as well as debt financing. A commitment of NMTC has been received and the City has approved the TIF request. The Historic Tax Credit application has passed the first phase of approval and is awaiting passage of the second phase.
 
The development plan calls for design work and financing of the project to be completed in the first quarter of 2017, with construction beginning shortly thereafter.  The construction phase of the project is expected to take about a year to complete, once all sources of financing have been secured. 
 
While there are a number of moving parts that will make this project a reality, we are encouraged by the progress to date. We are committed to encouraging and promoting downtown revitalization. A great way to do that is to redevelop this prominent facility that has been empty for over eight years, address the need for additional downtown residential units, increase the tax rolls by tens of thousands of dollars each year, all while returning The Chamber offices to downtown Springfield.  Any retained earnings realized through The Chamber’s one third ownership percentage will be reinvested in the community through our economic development efforts. Also, The Chamber’s occupancy will be less than current costs, while at the same time building equity, allowing for additional resources for both member benefits and economic development. 

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