Amanda Marron

  • Explore the Core: Introducing New Route & Partnership With Art Bikes Jax

    Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) is excited to share news about the success and growth of its Explore the Core program since the program’s inception in 2019. Inspired by the recognition of Historic Springfield as the “Most Bikeable Neighborhood in Jacksonville” and SPAR’s desire to build relationships with its other Urban Core neighbors, Explore the Core is the most tangible way to see how connected the oldest neighborhood is to the rest of Downtown Jacksonville. With a mission to promote the community’s bike-friendly reputation to the entire region, SPAR’s bike socials are free to join and include all ages and skill levels. 

    In 2021, SPAR was awarded a $3000 grant from Fat Tire Amber Ale’s ‘Bike Advocacy’ grant program. Awardees across the country received grants to fund projects that promote cycling in their communities and give equal opportunity for all to access the outdoors. SPAR’s project will support the current Explore the Core program with the addition of a new route to Historic Durkeeville.

    After experiencing continuous growth of participation and support throughout 2021, SPAR has partnered with Art Bikes Jax as the premier sponsor for the 2022 calendar year. Representatives from Art Bikes Jax will be joining in on Bike Socials and giving group tours in Historic Springfield highlighting local history and art. Both SPAR and Art Bikes Jax invite the Jacksonville community to join them on the first Bike Social of 2022 to trek the newly added route to Historic Durkeeville on Saturday, February 5th. The 2022 list of Explore the Core excursions include:

    • February 5th - Historic Durkeeville
    • April 29th - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game
    • June 18th - Evergreen Cemetery 
    • September TBD - Historic Eastside Murals/Jacksonville Jaguars Game
    • October 28th - Historic Springfield Bike-A-Boo!
    • December 13th - Historic Springfield Annual Holiday Bicycle Ride

     

      


  • published Springfield Ambassador Program in Make a Donation 2022-01-04 15:21:56 -0500

  • Annual Meeting - December 2021

    Date: 12/7/2021

    Location: Hyperion Brewing Company (1740 North Main Street)

    Time: 6 pm

    Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 45 guests to the meeting. 

    Kelly introduced Reggie Gaffney, Jr, who was representing Councilman Reggie Gaffney. Councilman Gaffney had a prior engagement with a City of Jacksonville LUZ meeting and could not attend.

    Kelly introduced Greg McGarity, President of Gator Bowl Sports. Greg shared that the 77th Annual Gator Bowl is taking place on Saturday, December 31st, at 11 am and Jacksonville is hosting Wake Forest vs Texas A&M. Each team will arrive between December 26th and 27th, so there should be a noticeable uptick of fans in Historic Springfield and Jacksonville as a whole. The Gator Bowl Committee works to generate a lot of excitement for the game within the community, including encouraging companies and corporations to buy and donate tickets so local kids can attend the game.     

    Kelly introduced Jeremy Smith of Patriot Services, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit that provides affordable housing and support services to low-income individuals and families, but also Veterans. Specifically, those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. As of 10:30 am on the day of the Community Meeting, Patriot Services closed on what is being referred to as The Springfield Initiative, five properties that contain a total of 68-units of which 20% will be designated for homeless Veterans and families. These affordable housing units will be renovated and rehabilitated over the next year. Patriot Services will be developing relationships with the local VA Clinic on Jefferson Street to assist in placing any homeless Veterans in need of housing. Included in the development is a Veterans Resource Center nearby to the VA Clinic, where VA caseworkers and others can work and meet one-on-one with Veteran residents. Additionally, two of the five properties will prioritize women Veterans and their children as they are an underserved population.  

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  • Meet the 2021 Candidates for our Board of Directors

    Let us introduce you to our 2021 Candidates for the SPAR Board of Directors! The Board of Directors is presenting Jason Hardwick and Alejandro (AJ) Rodriguez as new candidates who would bring valuable skills, passion, and knowledge to our organization. In addition, John Shermetaro (current Treasurer of SPAR), Christine Lane, Ryan McFarland, and Bryant Shumaker are all seeking reelection to the Board for a second and final term. 

    Please learn more about the candidates by reading their bios below. If you have any questions for them prior to voting at the annual meeting, please submit them before December 6th to [email protected] and the candidates will provide their answers at the Annual Meeting.

    SPAR members will be able to vote on candidates at our Annual Meeting this coming Tuesday, December 7th at Hyperion Brewing Company. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Aside from voting, SPAR members will receive updates about on-going projects and efforts in the community. 

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  • published Board Meeting - 10/18/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-11-23 12:40:24 -0500

    Board Meeting - 10/18/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, October 18, 2021

    6:00pm via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Hope, at 6:03 pm.

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Tim Hope (President), Joey Marchy (Vice President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Bryant Shumaker, Mallik Singareddy, Ryan McFarland, Mallik Singareddy, Ben Alcorn, Christine Lane, Pam Batts Brown, Annie Howe, Jennifer Chapman, Aaron Leedy

    Absent:  Michael Montoya, Soner Acar

    Guests: Todd Hollinghead, Bill Hoff 

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & September Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Motion to nominate Christine Farley for the Joyce Holbrook Award for 2021: APPROVED
    3. Motion to move forward with secondary insurance claim on a contingency basis.   AMENDED motion to move forward with secondary insurance claim on FULL contingency basis: APPROVED, 1 NAY (Shermetaro)
    4. Motion to approve a project to paint a bridge mural project in Klutho Park and to use the COJ matching funds towards this project: APPROVED
    5. Motion to approve the proposed 2022 budget as presented by the Finance Committee: APPROVED
    6. Motion to adopt the 2022 Executive Director bonus structure as outlined in the agenda: APPROVED; 4 NAY (Aaron/Ryan/Christine/Bryant)
    7. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 pm. 

  • Holiday Festivities in Historic Springfield

    Can you believe it? The 2021 Holiday Season is upon us and Historic Springfield could not be more excited. There are so many events happening in our one-square mile over the next few weeks, and here is is your one stop shop to finding them all. If you have an event that you'd like to see added to our list, please send it to [email protected]

     

    November 26th: Music on Main: Tree Lighting and DANKA - Join SPAR Council from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Sesquicentennial Park for Music on Main featuring the return of DANKA, the SPAR Holiday Market, and the Holiday Tree Lighting

     

    December 3rd to December 30th: Holiday Light Tours with Go Tuk'n - This 1-hour tour, offered for only a few weeks a year, is a favorite for the whole family. Guests of all ages love snuggling up in the furry blankets and heated seats to see the gorgeous lights in Springfield, Downtown, Avondale, and Riverside. Each tour is unique with Go Tuk'n drivers selecting the best light displays at the time of your tour.

     

    December 11th: Santa at Strings Sports Brewery - Bring the kids to get their photo taken with Santa at Strings Sports Brewery from 11:30 am to 1 pm!

     

    December 11th: Springfield Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl! - Wear your favorite ugly sweater and stroll between Historic Springfield's breweries, Main & Six Brewing Company, Strings Sports Brewery, and Hyperion Brewing Company, for this holiday themed bar crawl. Participating businesses will have special beer releases, drink specials, and an ugliest sweater contest at 9 pm.  

     

    December 14th: Historic Springfield's Annual Holiday Bicycle Ride - Meet up at Sesquicentennial Park at 5:30 pm for an leisurely evening ride through the Historic District to enjoy the lights and spectacle of the holidays. All ages are welcome and bike decorations and costumes are encouraged. 

     

    December 17th: A Very Special Christmas Dance & Talent Show! - Dare 2 Hire Different, Dabbs Productions, and The Sweet Spot & Urban Lounge are hosting a talent show and dance that allows individuals with different abilities to be themselves. Doors open at 4 pm, the Talent Show is from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm, and the dance will follow from 6 pm to 8 pm.

     

    December 18th: Winter Holiday Market at Main Street Food Park - Stop by the Main Street Food Park between 12 pm and 8 pm to shop with a variety of vendors, dine with some local food trucks, visit with Santa, listen to wonderful holiday music from the John Lumpkin Institute, and enjoy a holiday movie. 

     

    December 18th: Run Santa Run 5K - 1st Place Sports is hosting the Run Santa Run 5K taking place at Henry J. Klutho Park. Hosting both a one mile fun-run, as well as a 5K, the whole family can dress up in Santa suits and run together! This 5K is after dark so participants can enjoy the full effect of the course's illuminations, inflatables, and music. 

     

    Remember, you don't have to wait to join in on these events. You can alway walk, bike, or drive at any time throughout the month to enjoy the decorated porches throughout the neighborhood. 


  • published Board Meeting - 9/20/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-11-18 11:52:22 -0500

    Board Meeting - 9/20/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, September 20, 2021

    6:00pm via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by Vice President, Joey Marchy, at 6:02 pm.

     

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Joey Marchy (Vice President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), Bryant Shumaker, Aaron Leedy, Mallik Singareddy,  John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Ben Alcorn, Ryan McFarland, Mallik Singareddy, Ben Alcorn, Christine Lane, Pam Batts Brown, Soner Acar, Tim Hope

    Absent:  Michael Montoya, Jennifer Chapman

    Guests: Annie Howe, Bill Hoff, Todd Hollinghead 

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & August Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Confirmation of email vote for JWB 8th Street MF Development Letter of Support: APPROVED via email vote
    3. Motion to approve appointment of Annie Howe to replace Janie Coffey’s vacant BOD seat: APPROVED 
    4. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:56: pm. 

  • published Board Meeting - 8/16/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-10-19 10:48:23 -0400

    Board Meeting - 8/16/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, August 16, 2021

    6:00pm via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Hope, at 6:08 pm.

     

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Tim Hope (President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), Aaron Leedy, Mallik Singareddy,  John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Ben Alcorn, Ryan McFarland, Soner Acar, Christine Lane, Pam Batts-Brown

    Absent:  Bryant Shumaker, Joey Marchy, Michael Montoya, Jennifer Chapman

    Guests: Hector & Cherron Zayas, Bill Hoff, Steve Manis, Todd Hollinghead

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & July Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:33pm.

  • published JEA Update: North Main Street Project in Media & Blog 2021-09-15 12:38:02 -0400

    JEA Update: North Main Street Project

    North Main Street was opened on September 2nd, 2021. 

    • The 30-inch & 36-36-inch water main installations completed on N. Main Street and progressed into E. 1st Street. This work on E. 1st Street will be paused for 3-4 weeks to complete the gravity sewer installation. Thereafter, the 30-inch & 36-inch water main installations will resume and progress east towards Ionia St. & Palmetto St. This work will be ongoing in this E. 1st Street area for 12-14 months. 
    • Gravity sewer replacement/installation has begun on 1st Street east of N. Main Street and will progress east towards Market Street over next approx. 3-4 weeks.
    • 16-inch water main installation has resumed on 1st Street between Market St. and Liberty St, and will progress east towards Ionia Street over next approx. 4 months.
    • 36-inch water main installation that began on Beaver Street at Fair Grounds has progressed to APR & Albert Intersection.  It will continue to progress west down Albert St. towards Palmetto Street, where it will be joined with the segment of 36-inch water main that was just installed on Palmetto St. between Albert St. and Union St. The 36-inch water main installation on Albert St. and Palmetto St. will be ongoing for next approx. 5 months.
    • Overall project completion date is anticipated to be May of 2023.

  • Community Meeting - September 2021

    Date: 9/2/2021

    Location: SPAR Office Virtual Meeting (1321 North Main Street)

    Time: 6 pm

    Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 35 guests online to the meeting. 

    Kelly apologized for the last minute change of venue due to the weather, but informed attendees that there will be a rescheduled on-site meeting at the Main Street Food Park to be announced soon. This will be for members of the community to meet business owners, Hector and Cherron, and learn more about what they plan for this space, ask questions, and voice their concerns. 

    Kelly discussed Groundwork Jacksonville’s continued work on envisioning what Hogans Creek will look like as part of the Emerald Trail. The goal of the Hogan’s Creek Task Force is to look for ways to reduce flooding, improve the water quality, provide better habitats for fish and wildlife, improve access, increase recreational opportunity, increase resiliency and look at the impact of sea level rise, using the natural channel design instead of restraining that is current in place, and maintaining historically significant features. There will be changes to the width of the creek, which means there is a possibility that the historic balustrades will be moved. The overall goal will be to repurpose, recreate, and keep the branding and design that is so instrumental to Hogans Creek and Klutho Park. 

    Groundwork’s goal for a completed conceptual design of Hogans Creek is for the end of January 2022, and they hope to host a creek festival to share preliminary designs at the end of November 2021. So far, through Groundwork’s online survey for the Hogans Creek redesign, they have only received about 250 responses. They have also held multiple Hogans Creek Vision walks, as well as two visioning sessions during the last week of August. It is imperative that Historic Springfield stakeholders make their voices heard. Groundwork’s Executive Director, Kay Ehas, asked if members of the Springfield community could answer questions (provided here) and email responses to her at [email protected] as soon as possible. Community input provided from stakeholders will be shared with consultants who are working on the Hogans Creek redesign. Additionally, Kay and the Groundwork Jacksonville team will be attending the September 29th Music on Main for anyone who would like to have a conversation with them directly.https://www.sparcouncil.org/capital_campaign_donation

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  • wants to volunteer 2021-08-23 13:40:15 -0400

    Volunteer With Us!

    Do you have a little time or talent that you'd like to lend to improving the neighborhood? Whether it be office duties, event organizing, technical skills, or leadership roles, there's an opportunity for volunteers like you to make a positive difference in our Springfield Historic District through one of our committees or volunteer roles.

    You can help us out by volunteering at one time events or on a committee. Here are our current volunteer opportunities:

     

    Become a volunteer

  • published Board Meeting - 7/19/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-08-17 12:47:51 -0400

    Board Meeting - 7/19/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, July 19, 2021

    6:00pm via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Hope, at 6:11 pm.

     

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Tim Hope (President), Joey Marchy (Vice President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), Bryant Shumaker, Aaron Leedy, Mallik Singareddy,  John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Ben Alcorn (Late), Ryan McFarland, Mallik Singareddy, Soner Acar, Jennifer Chapman, Michael Montoya, Ben Alcorn

    Absent:  Christine Lane (Excused), Pam Batts-Brown (Excused)

    Guests: Todd Hollinghead

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & June Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:08 pm. 

  • published Board Meeting - 6/21/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-07-20 11:39:49 -0400

    Board Meeting - 6/21/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, June 21, 2021

    6:00pm @ SPAR Building (VCCS) & via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Hope, at 6:05 pm.

     

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Tim Hope (President), Joey Marchy (Vice President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), Bryant Shumaker, Aaron Leedy, Mallik Singareddy, Pamela Batts-Brown, John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Ben Alcorn, Ryan McFarland, Christine Lane, Janie Coffey, Mallik Singareddy, Soner Acar, Janey Coffey

    Absent:  Jennifer Chapman, Michael Montoya

    Guests: Evan Metz, Todd Hollinghead, Hillary Haas, Bill Hoff

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & May Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Motion to approve Design Review Subcommittee Charter as presented: APPROVED
    3. Motion to write a letter of support for the Alberi PUD without tying to the business and revert the height allowance back to that in the CCGS: APPROVED
    4. Motion to approve continuing the Conventus contract for 6 months: APPROVED; (Aaron- Abstain, Ryan - NAY)
    5. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:32 pm. 

  • published Board Meeting - 5/17/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-06-22 11:39:09 -0400

    Board Meeting - 5/17/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, May 17, 2021

    6:00pm @ SPAR Building & via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Hope, at 6:02 pm.

     

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Tim Hope (President), Joey Marchy (Vice President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), Bryant Shumaker, Aaron Leedy, Mallik Singareddy, Pamela Batts-Brown, John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Ben Alcorn, Ryan McFarland (Late), Jennifer Chapman, Christine Lane, Janie Coffey, Micheal Montoya, Mallik Singareddy

    Absent:  Soner Acar

    Guests: Bill Hoff, Evan Metz, Todd Hollinghead, Diane Graese, Jack Shad

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & April Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Motion to add wording to the SPAR Bylaws in Article 8 Section 2: Nomination Process - Expiring directors who wish to serve a second term will need to reapply. - APPROVED
    3. Motion to issue a SPAR letter of support for the gas tax bill with the amendments that include the Emerald Trail: APPROVED
    4. Motion to accept the Audit report, financial statements, & 990 with the grammatical addition of Todd Hollinghead as presented: APPROVED
    5. Motion to support the Alberi PUD with conditions of tying PUD to business and more defined landscape buffer on commercial corridor. Amended Motion to remove the height allowance back to that in CCGS. - APPROVED
    6. Motion to write a letter of support for the Main & Six expansion.  - APPROVED
    7. Motion to write a letter of support for DVI’s extension to State St. Amend Motion to support DVI’s expansion. - APPROVED
    8. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 pm. 

  • published Little Free Libraries of Springfield in Media & Blog 2021-06-15 11:45:54 -0400

    Little Free Libraries of Springfield

    Throughout Historic Springfield, one of the most beloved installations to be found is the collection of Little Free Libraries. The Little Free Library program started in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin with a small handful of libraries. In the eleven years since the first library was built, the Little Free Library network has grown to include over 100,000 registered libraries in over 100 countries worldwide. An estimated seven of those make their home in our one square-mile.

    The newest Little Free Library addition to Historic Springfield is now located at the SPAR Building (1321 North Main Street). Charter #50646 was donated to SPAR by our neighbors, the Breitmosers. It was then revamped and designed by our neighbor and friend, Heather Bishop. Devised to look like it belongs in our historic district, the library resembles a house and even has a solar light to illuminate the inside at night for easy book browsing. SPAR couldn't be more thrilled with this fantastic addition to our Main Street property.

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  • published SAMBA Membership Directory in Business 2021-06-14 13:50:17 -0400

  • Delores Barr Weaver issues matching challenge for SPAR Building restoration

    Mrs. Weaver has pledged $50,000 to the effort if the community can raise $50,000 in a 1:1 match. 

    Contact: Kelly Rich          

    Phone: 904-353-7727

    Email: [email protected]

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 10, 2021) –  Springfield Preservation and Revitalization, or SPAR, is excited to announce that Jacksonville philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver has issued a matching challenge to help the organization reach their fundraising goal for capital improvements of the SPAR Building located at 1321 North Main Street. The building, which SPAR acquired in 1994, was catastrophically damaged during Hurricane Irma forcing the nonprofit to move into a temporary space off Main Street shortly thereafter. 

    Mrs. Weaver, a long-time supporter of many charitable causes in Jacksonville, has pledged to contribute $50,000 through a 1:1 match, challenging the Northeast Florida community to step forward with $50,000 to unlock her gift. This gift will be made through the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida.  

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  • published SPAR Welcomes New Marketing Coordinator in Media & Blog 2021-06-07 12:20:55 -0400

    SPAR Welcomes New Marketing Coordinator

     

    Vaughn Murphy has been settling in to his new role as Marketing Coordinator with SPAR. Please give him a warm welcome when you see him! 

    A little about Vaughn:

    Vaughn was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and attended First Coast High School. By the 10th grade, he was the school’s band brass section leader and by senior his year, the band’s Head Drum Major leading over 100 members. In that same year, Vaughn dove headfirst into DJing when the DJ for the school’s band party got sick and Vaughn jumped in to save the day with his stack of CDs. Since then Vaughn (more famously known as DJ Stylez WorldWide) has grown to work with some of the biggest artists in the music industry. In 2003, he was the hype DJ for the “I’m Serious Mini Tour” featuring TI, Lil Wayne, Master P, Young Buck, Three Six Mafia and in 2004, the official DJ of the ten-city tour.

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  • published Board Meeting - 4/19/2021 in Board Meeting Notes 2021-05-24 12:37:16 -0400

    Board Meeting - 4/19/2021

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

    Monday, April 19, 2021

    6:00pm @ SPAR Building & via Google Meet

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Hope, at 6:15 pm.

     

    Present:  Board Attendance

    Tim Hope (President), Joey Marchy (Vice President), Kelly Lezama (Secretary), Bryant Shumaker, Aaron Leedy, Mallik Singareddy, Pamela Batts-Brown, John Shermetaro (Treasurer), Ben Alcorn, Ryan McFarland (Late), Jennifer Chapman, Christine Lane, Janie Coffey

    Absent:  Soner Acar, Michael Montoya

    Guests: Bill Hoff, Todd & Hazel Hollinghead

    Staff: Kelly Rich

     

    MOTIONS:

    1. Motion to accept the Consent Agenda & March Board meeting minutes as presented: APPROVED
    2. Motion to appeal both 1043 Walnut St. & E. 11th St. demos as long as we are within the 21 day appeal time frame.  AMENDED MOTION ADD: and volunteers are willing to assist with covering fees on the said appeals: APPROVED
    3. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:47pm. 

  • published Community Meeting - May 2021 in Community Meeting Notes 2021-05-17 14:25:19 -0400

    Community Meeting - May 2021

    Date: 5/6/2021

    Location: SPAR Office Virtual Meeting (1321 North Main Street)

    Time: 6 pm

    Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 25 guests online to the meeting.

    Kelly introduced the Perkins & Will Team. They shared their vision for the Park Redevelopment Design Competition underway for the site formerly known as The Landing. 

    Kelly discussed the progress of moving back into the SPAR Building at 1321 North Main Street and the Building for the Future Capital Campaign. The campaign has raised approximately $350,000 of the $500,000 goal. Every donation would greatly help SPAR move closer to the goal of covering the costs of the total restoration of the building. She showed before and after pictures of the progress within the building so far, including the layout of the downstairs Community Collaboration Center, outside staircase to the 2nd floor, and the upstairs headquarters for SPAR. Kelly shared a mockup of the Prairie Cross glass etching, which will show appreciation for donors, and will be displayed outside of the Community Collaboration Center.

    Kelly gave an update from SAMBA (Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association) and the Springfield Commercial Corridor. She informed attendees that there are currently 76 members of SAMBA, who are represented by the SAMBA Advisory Committee within the Commercial Corridors discussions. SAMBA meetings are free to visit and open to anyone in Springfield or those who want to do business in Springfield. SAMBA membership levels include two tiers for returning members (General at $100 and Executive at $250). New members of SAMBA can join at $50 for the first year with an Introductory membership. SAMBA works to invite quality speakers and include resources beneficial to small businesses.

    SAMBA sponsors two grant programs for its membership - the Quarterly Mini-Grant for members’ events and the Facade Grant. The SAMBA Mini-Grant helps offset costs for members’ events and programs. In 2021, SAMBA doubled the budget for the Facade Grant and awarded three businesses (Hof’s Printing, Bishop Classic Motors, and RE/MAX Supreme) with grants so far. Applications for both grant programs are available on the SPAR website.

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