Center City

Development of Urban Districts
Center City Springfield consists of four separate districts: Downtown, Commercial Street, Walnut Street, Government Plaza/Central Street Corridor. The Center City element focuses on development of several distinctive, urban districts oriented around high-quality public spaces that are linked to one another and collectively recognized and organized as Center City. Four overall goals for Center City are:
  1. Develop Center City as distinct districts.
  2. Orient each district around attractive public streets and spaces.
  3. Define the boundaries and link the Center City Districts.
  4. Strengthen and utilize the Urban Districts Alliance to guide Center City development.
Area Specific Strategies
  • Expand Greater Downtown’s position as an arts and entertainment district.
  • Continue to promote a strong residential base in Greater Downtown.
  • Link the SMSU Campus to Downtown.
  • Improve transit service to and throughout Greater Downtown.
  • Adopt a community oriented policing policy that incorporates a police presence as part of the downtown landscape
  • Enhance Downtown’s role as a multi-functional business district.
  • Use landscaping, parks, public squares, water features, and public art to focus and beautify Greater Downtown and to create gateways.
  • Implement Boarded Building/Building Maintenance ordinance to encourage rehabilitation of buildings
  • Address parking issues related to continued residential development downtown and conduct a parking management study/analysis.
  • Focus on Alleyway clean-up and overall aesthetics in Downtown.
Commercial Street
  • Partner with the city to address the unintended impacts of the concentration of homeless services.
  • Create incentives for more retail and residential development.
  • Partner with the city to provide better security in the Commercial Street area.
  • Complete streetscape and landscaping and update site plan.
  • Extend the emphasis given downtown over past five years to Commercial Street.
Walnut Street
  • Identify connections to baseball stadium, Jordan Valley Park, SMSU, Drury, & OTC.
  • Use current CDBG funds to finish the streetscape plans by September 2004.
  • Expand the Walnut Street district/planning area to include the properties along Walnut Street from Hammons Parkway to Kimbrough Avenue.
  • Investigate the feasibility of developing the vacant lot just east of One Parkway Place into a pocket park with a performance gazebo/stage, landscaping, etc.
  • Encourage neighborhood appropriate retail (gift shops, antique shops, restaurants, specialty stores) in historic homes with retail on the first floor and residential above while also encouraging more single-family housing in contributing structures.
  • Continue to promote the district as a prime location for upscale, intimate dining restaurants through partnership with UDA, the City, and other Downtown/Walnut Street supporters. Assure that sufficient parking is available and that the scale of the restaurant is consistent with the existing scale on Walnut Street.
  • Continue to support ArtsFest and Cider Days on Walnut Street as a service to the community and as the only fundraiser for the Walnut Street Merchants Association
  • Consider a redevelopment plan for south side of Walnut Street, east of Kimbrough, to address deteriorated structures in that area.
Government Plaza / Central Street Corridor
  • Expand planning area east to National Avenue to include Drury University and OTC.
  • Establish a standing committee with representatives of all institutions along corridor to monitor progress of plan and to coordinate actions and policies of individual institutions.
  • Plan locations for and cluster government and institutional buildings along and near Central Street.
  • Enhance major street corridors to complement the civic and institutional architecture and to emphasize the importance of the corridor.
  • Encourage development of retail and service facilities to serve the significant daytime population of the corridor.
  • Establish a strong linkage along the corridor, from Campbell Avenue to National Avenue, and forge linkages to Jordan Valley Park, Downtown, and Commercial Street.