Developer of 32nd Street project ready to start apartments

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Aug. 5—Rebuilding and relocating Hammons Boulevard in the 32nd Street Place development is complete, and the developer is ready to start construction of apartment buildings there.

"We've made good progress," developer Drew Snyder of Woodsonia Joplin LLC said Monday at a meeting of the Joplin City Council.

The project is to be located in the area of 32nd Street and Hammons Boulevard, east of Sam's Club.

A new intersection with traffic signals has been completed, and the traffic signals are in operation as part of a rebuild of Hammons Boulevard.

Snyder said the project included work on the street from its connection to Range Line next to the Olive Garden restaurant east to the former Joplin Convention Center. From there, new accesses were installed at key locations where roads or entrances are to be extended. One such is a back entrance to the future Menard's home improvement store, which is to be built north of Sam's Club. Snyder said that entry will be built out as a rear entrance and service entry to Menard's.

What had been a westward left curve of Hammons has been rerouted to the east to provide a corridor to other sections of the future development. An entrance connection has been built to the future location of the apartments that are to be erected. Then the boulevard connects to 32nd Street farther north than the former intersection.

Snyder said the first phase of the apartment development will involve construction of 244 market-rate apartment units. Those are to be started soon and to be completed sometime in 2023.

Council member Phil Stinnett questioned the plan for traffic to line up at what is to be the front entrance of the Menard's facing Range Line. He thought there was not enough traffic space for cars to line up as motorists go into the parking lot.

Snyder said a traffic study was done and submitted to city staff and the Missouri Department of Transportation and that both approved the study recommendations for the entry road, located on the north side of Chick-fil-A. It was constructed according to the findings of that study, Snyder said.

Two council bills related to the development plan and the tax increment financing district for the apartments project were approved by council.

One was an amendment to the building plan. The original plan called for 300 apartments and two office buildings to be built in two phases. The developer asked to delete the office buildings from the plan and reduce the number of apartments to 244 in four-story and two-story buildings because topography issues were found on the land once it was cleared of trees and vegetation.

The other request was to activate that area of the TIF so that tax collections there could begin.

The development is to be built in four phases under a TIF agreement that will allow the developer to be repaid for infrastructure work such as street, sewer and stormwater drainage construction and other expenses with a portion of taxes collected within the district.

Joplin's TIF Commission and the council in 2020 agreed to a TIF for the project. It is a $188 million mixed-use, retail and residential development.

Nearly $139 million of the development cost would come from private investment and debt. The developer is to obtain another $28.7 million of the cost in property and sales taxes from the TIF district to build the public infrastructure. A TIF pays half of the increase in the new taxes generated by the development to the developer to repay costs allowed by the city.

The land involved in the TIF district encompasses about 75 acres south of 32nd Street and east of Range Line Road.

Also deleted from the original plan is a movie theater, although the developer may relocate that to another site in a future phase of the project, according to the city documents.

A third council bill to remove another phase of the project was given first-round approval. The bill would delay activation of a fourth phase of the project and the TIF until it is refiled by the developer.

The amended plan was forwarded to the council with a recommendation for approval by the TIF Commission, which heard the request July 7.