Springfield approves DORA and entertainment district proposals

The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) will expand through a large portion of downtown, incorporating many restaurants and establishments. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF.

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The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) will expand through a large portion of downtown, incorporating many restaurants and establishments. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF.

City commissioners approved two proposals that focus on revitalizing downtown Springfield.

The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area and the entertainment district were approved by all members of the city commission this week.

With the approval of the DORA, residents will be allowed to walk in certain areas of downtown with open containers of alcohol. Establishing a community entertainment district will allow the city to add more liquor permits to downtown.

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“These represent, in my view, a huge step forward in meeting our goal of improving and reinvigorating downtown Springfield,” said David Estrop, Springfield city commissioner.

Both the DORA and entertainment district could take effect as soon as April, however, an official date has not yet been set.

City commissioners also voted in favor of expanding the current Community Reinvestment Area. The CRA provides a temporary tax abatement of increased real property taxes on residential remodeling or new residential construction within the area.

Under the new CRA proposal, all nine geographic areas will consolidate into one.

“Expanding the CRA is an important step towards the revitalization and improvement of our neighborhoods,” City Manager Bryan Heck said.

The commission also heard a first reading on making the Gammon House a local historical landmark.

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Located at 620 S. Piqua Place, the Gammon House was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The proposal will now move to a second reading, which will take place at the commission’s next meeting.

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