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August 2015
Survey Results for DevelopSpringfield's
700 State Street Redevelopment Project
Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our recent survey on redevelopment alternatives for the former River Inn site at 700 State Street. DevelopSpringfield purchased the property in 2013 along with two adjacent lots on Thompson Street for redevelopment into a commercial use that could create jobs, increase tax revenues for the City and help stimulate further reinvestment within the State Street Corridor. Redevelopment of the property has been challenging and through the use of the survey, we hoped to gain additional insight into potential alternatives based on input from people who live, attend school, visit or work Mason Square area and the State Street corridor.
The on-line survey, launched on July 22, was distributed to our newsletter distribution list, posted on Facebook, Twitter and on the DevelopSpringfield website. In addition, links were forwarded to seven neighborhood councils and to others who distributed it to their networks. A total of 471 responses were received by the time the survey concluded on August 7.
Overall, 18% of respondents lived in Mason Square, 41% worked on or near State Street and 26% attended school in the area. Some respondents fell in more than one category. 68% reported that they drove through Mason Square daily or frequently. Approximately 10% travelled by bus either daily or frequently and just under 14% indicated that they were daily or frequent walkers. Again, respondents could fall into one or more categories.
Respondents were asked how frequently they would likely patronize various potential businesses. The uses that respondents indicated they would patronize most included Panera Bread (60%), Dunkin Donuts (60%), Chipotle (57%) and Friendly's (56%).  A majority of respondents indicated that they would rarely or never patronize most of the fast-food options listed. 73% of respondents indicated that they would rarely or never patronize a McDonalds or a Pizza Hut while 71% would rarely or never patronize a Taco Bell and 68% would rarely or never patronize a KFC. 
The survey also asked respondents to indicate their level of support for each of the uses listed. The uses with the greatest support (indicated by strongly support or support) included Panera Bread (66%), Dunkin Donuts (54%) and Chipotle Mexican Grille (53%).  The uses that were the most opposed (indicated by strongly oppose or oppose) were McDonald's (46%), Pizza Hut (38%), and Taco Bell (37%).  
Participants were given the opportunity to share their own ideas as well. While no specific use for the site stood out, the comments do provide meaningful input. Click here to review the complete results of the survey.
Welcome New Board Members                        
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Developspringfield recently elected several new members to our board of directors who will be volunteering their time and talent to further the mission of the organization.

We are pleased to welcome Jennifer Endicott, Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President, Strategy & External Relations for Baystate Health; Trish Slocum, Customer Response Center Director and Office Operations Manager for Liberty Mutual Group; Seth Stratton, Vice President and General Counsel for MGM Springfield; and Charlie Tzoumas, Senior Director of Business Development for Comcast Business.

We are grateful to all of our board members for their many contributions to our work and toward revitalization in the city of Springfield.

Click here for a link to our website for a full list of our current Board of Directors.          
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Save the Date
It seems like just yesterday that we held our 4th Celebrate Springfield Annual Dinner event. Time flies!  Please "save the date" of Thursday, March 10, 2016 for our 5th Annual Dinner. We'll have additional information available in the coming months as plans come together, but we want to be sure you know to mark your calendars now. Last year's dinner was a sell-out and we want to be sure you have plenty of time to plan ahead.

Please forward this newsletter to others in the Springfield community to help spread the news!
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Our mission is to help create conditions that encourage private development, with a bricks-and-mortar focus and always with an eye toward understanding and meeting Springfield's unique and diverse redevelopment needs.