Last summer we announced that we were collaborating with the Springfield Business Development Corporation and The Vecino Group to evaluate the feasibility of an expansion of IDEA Commons through a public-private partnership.
Over the past several months we have worked to develop a model for two projects that will transform IDEA Commons.
Renovate, expand JVIC’s Building 4
The first project will involve the renovation and expansion of Building 4 of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC). Building 4 is currently rundown and unoccupied, and the remainder of JVIC is fully leased. By renovating and expanding Building 4, we will create 30,000 additional square feet that can be leased to JVIC tenants.
It would be very difficult (likely impossible) to finance these changes to Building 4 if the university completed the project independently. By working with The Vecino Group, a tax credit financing tool can be used to cover a portion of the project costs. With the tax credits, we believe the project can be financed in such a way that lease payments will cover the anticipated debt service. The result is that the project will have no impact on Missouri State’s operating budget.
Develop land south of JVIC
The second project will involve the development of outdoor amenities and a commercial building on land south of JVIC. The exact business structure for this project is still a work in progress, but the building will likely consist of commercial office space owned and operated by The Vecino Group. The university currently uses some of this land for parking, so the project will need to include a structure that provides ample space for university parking.
In a time of fiscal constraints, the potential to expand JVIC and transform IDEA Commons without impacting university operations is very attractive. I hope you are as excited about this project as I am.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!