An agreement to renovate, modernize and potentially expand Southern Hills Shopping Center in West Plains has been reached, city Economic Development Director David Bossemeyer reported Tuesday.
“With in six months people will begin seeing major changes,” he said. “Right now they’re doing the preliminary work: initial examinations of buildings, analyzing traffic patterns and talking with business owners.”
Southern Hills owner Travis Smith and community developer Ryan Kiser, of St. Louis-based K2 Commercial Group, will work together to renovate and potentially expand Southern Hills for future development.
The city of West Plains has worked with Kiser on other development and redevelopment opportunities since 2016, with a goal to ignite economic growth, said Bossemeyer, adding that he thanks Kiser for his time, investment and persistence.
Kiser said he believes West Plains is positioned to add more retailers to the market through redevelopment and new development efforts.
“I look forward to working with Travis and his team, along with Walmart, in making the necessary capital improvements that will enhance the characteristics of the property,” he said.
According to Kiser, the changes will lead to better connectivity, curb appeal and safety, thus improving the customer experience. It is also an effort to attract “name-brand” stores that will bring Southern Hills in line with other retail developments in similar markets, he added.
“I don’t know anyone that does what he does,” Smith said of Kiser and his work. Smith explained he first met Kiser in 2013 and was impressed with his vision, network and ability to align everyone’s interests to bring projects to life.
“I saw Kiser’s dedication to West Plains’ commercial district and driving growth become the purpose in his life,” Smith said.
Bossemeyer said the new redevelopment work could include rehabilitating existing buildings, adding new structures and changing traffic patterns around Southern Hills. He indicated West Plains’ residents, visitors and business owners within the shopping center should expect to see some major changes “in very short order.”
Smith will continue performing the day-to-day management of Southern Hills while Kiser will focus his efforts on securing new retail and development activities within and around the Southern Hills, said Bossemeyer.
“We are so encouraged to see this move forward for our retail sector and wish to thank both Kiser and Smith,” said West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlman.