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A major redevelopment in the South Town neighborhood took its first step Tuesday as the committee of the whole sent to the full Springfield City Council an agreement authorizing The Springfield Project to purchase a building at 11th Street and South Grand Avenue using the city's community development block grant funds.

The site would be "consistent," Watson said, with incubation and accelerator centers, like Innovate Springfield, which is located on the Old State Capitol Plaza and is part of the University of Illinois Springfield.

It would host small business development classes and offer co-working space amenities and services, private and semi-private offices, a conference room and media production, said Dominic Watson, who heads both The Springfield Project and the Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce.

Bruce Sommer, director of economic development and innovation at UIS, viewed the site as "almost interchangeable" with Innovate Springfield, which he co-founded.

"We hope very much to collaborate and partner with programing around building new and existing entrepreneurs and growing them here," Sommer said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Dec. 29, 2021.

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