SPRINGFIELD – The Marcola Meadows development at the northern edge of central Springfield is nearing its end much faster than expected.
“We’ll be done and developed by the end of this year. Our plan was 2025, so we’re almost two years ahead of schedule,” said Karl Ivanov, the president and founder of I&E Construction, at the Springfield City Club meeting on Thursday, Aug. 3. “Our multi-family is under construction now. That will be completely done by July 1, 2024, and that’s a year ahead of schedule.”
It’s a roughly 100-acre site; about 55 acres will be medium density residential, and about 45 acres of which will be mixed-use commercial.
According to city planner Andy Limbird, The Villages at Marcola Meadows was approved in 2008, but there were challenges with the previous development attempts.
Ivanov said he took a big financial risk on the Marcola Meadows development back in 2018. He spoke with the banks and found ways to get the project moving with help from the City, although many were shaking their heads and calling him crazy.
“We closed this thing with no title, no plans, nothing – just basically closed a piece of land for lots of money,” Ivanov said. “But that’s why we came in and moved so fast.”
AKS Engineering & Forestry principal Monty Hurley said there have been many challenges. He said the two hardest types of projects are very steep and very flat pieces of land; the flatness posed issues for the sewer pipe installation.
Other challenges included: waiting for permits, ensuring certain facets were constructed correctly, working with the wetlands, and continuing on despite a pandemic and wildfires.
There is land allocated to a school site, church site, convenient store, medical office building, walking trails, and multi-use paths – although the school site will probably not be developed for another five years, according to Limbird, who said, “When there’s funds available for school construction, that’s when they’ll start that process.”
Hurley said 226 residential homes have been started or completed; there will be 446 single family homes and 312 multi-family apartment units.
“By the end of the next calendar year, everything will be built,” Limbird said. “There may be a few homes that are still under construction, but they’ll be basically purchased and under contract. By the end of 2024, it’ll be pretty wrapped up, with the exception of the school.”