Commercial realtors in Joplin say they've seen a spike in potential business. Realtors and developers in Joplin hope this recent spark of interest ignites something big.
However, some commercial property owners with land for sale are being encouraged to think realistically and talk to realtors.
Joplin developer Mark Williams says he has several million dollars invested in projects throughout the city.
"From realtors I'm meeting with, they're all telling me that they're receiving more calls this past month than ever before," says Williams. "We've been preparing for this time for about 10 years, so we're past the dates when there was two feet tall grass and the pigeons."
Commercial real estate agent David Glenn has 40 years of experience. He says about 80 percent of his clients are local, still looking to relocate after last year's tornado.
"20th and Connecticut, where it was hit the most, is a hot spot right now; Main Street is hot from, especially, from 20th out to the new hospital at 50th Street," Glenn says. "Commercially, there's been quite a bit of an interest. I'm going to say there's probably been a good 30% to 50% spike in activity."
The rest of Glenn's clients are from throughout the U.S. - Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, New Jersey and Saint Louis.
Commercial real estate is based on square foot. Realtors say there is plenty of property and sellers need to beware:
"Buyers are smart," Glenn says. "There is one piece of land that's in a pretty good location that the land price is about double what it's worth."
And if a potential buyer agrees the land is overpriced, the lot sits untouched.
"Some of the properties downtown are over priced," says Williams. "Some of the rents are maybe not practical for the type of tenants we're getting right now. But as the master developer comes down and potential projects happen downtown, we're going to start to see a leveling out of that, and then property values will increase in the next couple of years."
Both commercial real estate agents and developers say it may take four to five years for most new businesses to set up shop in Joplin.
Many business owners are waiting for Joplin's master developer to start building.