Place residence

City invests $2.2 million for Poplar Place redevelopment in Springfield IL

In a unanimous vote, the Springfield City Council authorized the use of $2.2 million in tax increase funding funds to pay for the redevelopment of the Poplar Place Housing Development on the east side of town.

The vote came after some delay, including concerns over a draft working agreement, which was ironed out in the resolution.

There was an agreement on a 30% minority stake in the workforce, said Tregg Duerson, a senior partner at the Chicago-based firm. Related Midwestowner of Poplar Place.

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Related will take the rest of the tab for the $38 million redevelopment. Housing serves low- and middle-income families, but housing and infrastructure have become dilapidated.

Related Companies, a multi-billion dollar company, bought Poplar Place in 1999.

Ward 3 Ald. Roy Williams Jr. said the deal was slow in coming.

“I feel good. I’m happy,” Williams said afterwards. “Many of the communities that surround Poplar Place will be very happy to see that we are finally going to have movement and that we are going to have a rehabilitation of (the subdivision).

The city portion will come from the Far Eastern TIF District with $1.2 million specifically for roads, sidewalks and curbs and the other $1 million for general construction and demolition of the area, Mayor Jim Langfelder said.

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Both of these parts will be bid on, he said.

“For the return we’re going to get, it’s phenomenal,” admitted Langfelder.

A number of units will be bulldozed while others will be totally gutted and renovated, he added, leaving 50 single-family homes and 25 duplexes.

The decrease in density will make it “a safer place to live”, the mayor said.

About 10% of units are currently occupied, Ward 2 Ald said. Shawn Gregory.

Williams said he insists on a diverse workforce. Related had to sort this out with some unions and other players, like BONE (Bringing Others New Empowerment) LLC and other minority and women-owned businesses that will be part of the redevelopment, Williams added.

Ward 3 Ald.  Roy Williams Jr.

Of the 30% minority workforce, Williams said: “We can always get better and better, but I have to be realistic. Minorities and women are only growing in this trades industry, especially builders, so it’s going to take But it’s going to move that needle and get them involved in workforce development programs and training some people to be union members.

Among those present at Tuesday’s meeting were Calvin Pitts, owner of BONE LLC, and Teresa Haley, president of the Springfield chapter and state conference of the NAACP.

Work should begin just after the new year.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, [email protected],