Downtown Joplin Alliance gets a property donation valued at more than a million dollars from  Empire District Electric

Downtown Joplin Alliance gets a property donation valued at more than a million dollars from  Empire District Electric

The Downtown Joplin Alliance hopes it can create a variety of business opportunities at its newly donated properties.

E mpire District Electric turned over the keys and deed this morning of what used to be home to linemen, engineers and meter operations. The company outgrew its facility on Fourth street in 2014.
Brent Baker, Empire Vice President of customer service, transmission and engineering explained, “Three point three acres roughly. We’ve got parking, building facilities and property on each side. It was appraised at one point four million dollars. Fair market value and what something will sell for (pause) we’ve attempted a few different things and so really it comes down to, a donation was a good move for us and a good move for the community .”

A big attraction to the Downtown Joplin Alliance was the truck bay area with multiple garage doors that can open and close.

Lori Haun, the alliance board of directors president said, “The initial thing is a market. You could do an open air slash indoor four season kind of market.
People value knowing where their things come from. They value things that are handmade, more whole foods and we don’t have enough access to that in Joplin.”

For artisans like Ivy Hagedorn who attended the key presentation,
the blank space could become a home to her budding jewelry business. She currently sells her jewelry online but she hopes to grow.

Ivy said, “Having an affordable space where maybe I could come and put my shipping department, come and collaborate with other creatives, um you know. Really, the part I’m most excited about too is having the opportunity to sell here.”

Haun said they hope to help small business owners fulfill their dreams. She said, “Hopefully this will give them a stepping stone for those people to scale up their businesses and give them a market.”

With multiple lots and spaces inside and out all believe it will bring both culture and visitors to town.
Ivy added, “Not only for creatives but for foodies, for people who want to come in for entertainment. It would just make this whole part of town vibrant and vital to the city.”

Haun says the Downtown Joplin Alliance will work with the city on using the parking lot for events or games at nearby Joe Becker stadium.