Letter from the Mayor: January 2023
Letter from the Mayor: January 2023
December 22, 2022
As we begin to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to the next, I wanted to take a second to congratulate our neighboring communities in Ozark and Republic for some of the great growth they are both seeing in the commercial and retail sectors recently. I get asked a lot, “Why can’t Nixa land business X (What-a-burger, Hy-Vee, Target, Andy’s, etc.)?
I am definitely not a business development expert, but in working with those experts over the last 12 years, I have learned some of the factors businesses consider before deciding where to locate. There are both Pros and Cons to doing business in Nixa, but these are the ones that I have consistently discussed with developers and business owners.
1. Population – Nixa is the largest of suburban cities in the Springfield region and the 3rd largest city in southwest Missouri. It is hard to argue with the numbers. We have the most available customers for any business wanting to come into the region.
2. Median Income – Nixa is also the most affluent community in the Springfield region with an average household income of over $66,000 a year.
3. Quality of Life – Nixa provides one of the safest communities with one of the best public-school systems in the state. People want to come here and want to open businesses here.
1. Location – We are not on a major interstate or rail line and do not have an airport, so we are not in the running for most manufacturing or warehouse locations. Also, being the closest suburb to Springfield with relatively easy access to commercial centers there, some retail businesses are hesitant to place another location in Nixa because they consider it to be too close to their locations in south Springfield.
2. Land/Development Cost – Commercial property in Nixa is 2-3 times the cost of comparable property in Ozark or Republic. Part of this is our compact nature – which benefits both the City and local business – but also leads to less available property. Another contributing factor to the high development costs apart from land prices is infrastructure which is required before a building project can start. Unless the City pays to build out the infrastructure connections to the property they are considering building on (electric, water, sewer, roads & sidewalks, etc.), a developer has to cover substantial additional cost just to prepare the land for construction.
3. Limited Daytime Population – In the past, between 70-75% of Nixa residents worked outside of Nixa (though this number has lowered since the pandemic and more people have begun working from home.) This means many Nixa residents aren’t in our community during the day to shop and eat out, and they do some of that activity in the surrounding cities where they work.
There is minimal impact that the municipal government can have on any of these items. The only things we can do are: 1) attempt to mitigate Con #2 by investing in infrastructure and providing all available incentives for businesses to invest and 2) improve Pro #3 by keeping our community safe and providing programs and facilities which allow Nixa residents to spend more time close to home so they will do more business right here.
During this holiday season, I hope everyone will continue to do as much as possible to support our local businesses and our community by shopping locally and continuing to make Nixa a great place to live, learn, work and play. On behalf of the City of Nixa, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s!
Mayor Brian Steele