JEFFERSON CITY, MO-It’s not often that 142 acres becomes available in the heart of a city, and the state capital city on top of that. But that’s what will happen in 2003 when the state correctional facility closes in Jefferson City. To ready for the transition, a redevelopment task force has been meeting to oversee what happens with the prime real estate, located east of downtown and the state capitol.

The task force recently approved a consensus plan that calls for several segments of consideration: the creation of a judicial center, an historic area, an office park, a landing area where the land abuts the Missouri River, an entertainment district, or a natural resources area. Ths list also covers uses and structures. Included in the plan are proposals such as a federal courthouse and state government offices in a judicial plan, a prison museum and tourist information center in an historic area, a performing arts center in an entertainment district design or a riverfront park in the natural resources plan.

Parsons HBA architectural firm designed the consensus plan. The redevelopment task force has been made up of 24 persons from the state, city, county and Chamber of Commerce. Next on the agenda is to get state legislature approval for a 10-person redevelopment entity, which will take development responsibilities from the state.

The proposed entity would be comprised of four people from the state, three from the county and three from the city, according to a spokesman for the Missouri Division of Design and Construction in the state Office of Administration. City administrators want to be involved with the project and will strive to keep historic buildings in place, says city administrator Rich Mays. The new correctional facility is being built in nearby Algoa, which city officials hope to make a part of Jefferson City through annexation.

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