A renewed effort is underway to examine the potential for market-rate housing in downtown Springfield. On Thursday, the city along with Laurie Volk of Zimmerman/Volk Associates released a study showing strong promise for the success of housing in the area where a casino development may take place.
Paul Tuthill of WAMC News reported that the study shows that the housing market can support over 1,500 units of housing over the next five years in downtown Springfield and the adjacent South End neighborhood, where MGM is proposing an $800 million casino development. Volk said the housing's success would not rely on the casino, but the main obstacles are high costs to develop and identifying the financing to make it possible.
"Now is the time for Springfield to move ahead on development projects that will actually satisfy that market demand," said Volk. "Because it's there, and we don't want to let it get away like we did last time, when the housing market crashed."
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is hopeful the housing might attract young adults, so-called Millennials, who might enjoy an urban setting with amenities close at hand. "They want to live downtown," he said, which is walkable.
Here's WGGB's report on the study:
The study is available to view here: