April 26, 2012 — Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and officials of the Rebuild Springfield Initiative, including DevelopSpringfield, a non-profit corporation dedicated to advancing development and expediting revitalization within the City of Springfield, today released the final formal Rebuild Springfield Master Plan.
The Rebuild Springfield Initiative was created in response to the June 1, 2011, tornado that struck the City of Springfield and carved a 6.2 mile path of destruction. The initiative and the resulting Master Plan integrated community input with planning expertise to develop a realistic and comprehensive action plan for realizing both a response to the impact of the tornado on the City and a vision for the neighborhoods and City as a whole that goes beyond simply rebuilding.
On April 26, 2012, Mayor Sarno and officials from Rebuild Springfield formally kicked off the implementation of the plan and its action steps and related projects.
“There has been an extraordinary level of public engagement in the Rebuild Springfield dialogue, with over 3,000 individuals participating in the planning process by offering input at public meetings and online,” commented Mayor Sarno. “This is the blueprint and vision not only for the tornado ravaged areas, but more importantly for our entire City to continue to make us a stronger and vibrant community of one. This grassroots effort with everyone staying
involved, focused and rowing in the same direction, is essential to moving our City forward. I’m deeply appreciative to everyone who played a role in our Springfield rebuild plan.”
According to Nick Fyntrilakis, chairman of the Board of Directors of DevelopSpringfield, “Implementation is the next critical step in the process. DevelopSpringfield will quarterback the Master Plan in partnership with the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, the City and key stakeholders and the community at large.”
The Master Plan divides the tornado-impacted area into three planning districts: District One comprises downtown and the South End neighborhood; District Two, composed of the Maple-High Six Corners, Old Hill, Upper Hill and Forest Park neighborhoods; and District Three, including East Forest Park and Sixteen Acres.
In addition to District-specific matters, the Master Plan’s implementation will also cover six primary nexus “Domains” that address not only the revitalization needs of the tornado-impacted areas but also the broader vision for future revitalization of the City as a whole.
Kevin Kennedy, Springfield’s Chief Development Officer, stated “this milestone marks the end of the planning phase of tornado recovery. Next we must maximize FEMA and MEMA reimbursements and apply our resources to a coordinated rebuilding effort.”
Last month, Mayor Sarno and DevelopSpringfield announced the leadership for these Domains and Districts. With the lead assistance of DevelopSpringfield, these Domain and District Leaders will serve as a critical liaison with the community to ensure continued input during the long-term implementation of the Master Plan.
“We have implemented a comprehensive project management methodology for the Master Plan to ensure that we can achieve measurable and meaningful outcomes in a timely fashion,” commented Kevin Sweeney, executive director of DevelopSpringfield. “In cooperation with the Domain and District Leaders, we will also strive to integrate continued communitywide input as major projects are implemented to ensure that we meet the shared vision for a better, stronger Springfield that is the foundation of the Master Plan.”