City & Government, Community, Springfield

Springfield Buick building project dead

SPRINGFIELD – The Blue McKenzie Project – a $34 million initiative to transform the parking lot between the old Buick dealership and the U.S. Post Office on A Street into a mixed-use residential building – is not moving forward as originally planned.

Property owner Robert Scherer told the Springfield Economic Development Agency’s board of directors on June 26 the project was longer financially viable due to a number of issues, including higher interest rates.

“I just want to thank the whole city staff, the City, and the board for this over three-year process with the Blue McKenzie Project,” Scherer said during a public comment period at the meeting. “Things haven’t turned out the way we wanted to. They didn’t last year, they even got worse this year. So I want to just thank the staff. (It) was a combination of events, most of which were out of our control and out of our hands.”

The project had previously received a $2.1 million pre-development loan from SEDA in November 2022 meant to assist with things like market research, design, engineering, land use, etc.

At the June 26 SEDA board meeting, two resolutions were presented: The first was to authorize the city manager to take action under the Blue McKenzie pre-development agreement. The second resolution authorized the city manager to take certain actions related to the property acquisition and pre-development loan contract.

The board approved both resolutions.

An agreement, which includes loan forgiveness, states SEDA and the Blue McKenzie Project can agree “in concert together that the loan can be forgiven in exchange for the deed to the property and related loan documents.”

The value of the proposed site was $400,000 for the 0.27 acres. Obtaining the property would provide SEDA “with site control, which allows for more control and fl exibility for the future development.”

Scherer told The Chronicle that his family retains ownership of the Buick Building and the parking lot behind it along B Street.



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