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New Development Could Be In Sight For Former Irving Elementary S - KOAM TV 7

New Development Could Be In Sight For Former Irving Elementary Site

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

    After seven years - the site of one of Joplin's three former school buildings may soon have a new occupant.
    A rezoning request was presented to the planning and zoning commission today for the former site of Irving Elementary.
    And while it's still in the early stages, city officials are excited
    A new restaurant is being proposed for the location.
    Chris Parrish however, says the Irving site wasn't his first choice.
Chris Parrish, Owner, Webb City Gringos: "We had some property picked out on 32nd street, but it was, it just cost too much, then we just got offered this."
    Parrish - if he looks familiar, or you noticed the logo on his shirt, is the owner of the original Webb City Gringos.
    He and his wife took over that location ten years ago when the original Gringos team - retired.
    They've had ten years of success - and are ready to begin expanding - and are learning from their experiences.
Parrish: "We're going to put in two drive-thru's, we're going to put in a drive thru on each side of the building, not on the same side, but on both sides, and hopefully, run twice as many cars through."
    But the success of that business, could mean success for the neighborhood.
Edward Whitmore, Joplin City Planner: "As we know, 26th street has been slow to develop after the tornado."
    Braum's - is still technically slated to open a store, eventually - on the site of the former IGA, or J-Town, or Salvation Army - whichever your most recent memory is.
    But, it's been on hold - this new restaurant however, could been open in the near future, which has city officials, excited.
Whitmore: "Perhaps more residents will take up living in the area now that they'll have more options in that area."
    Parrish says that he knows the site has historic - and sentimental value - to Joplin residents, and he's planning for that too.
Parrish: "I'm putting it up with the intention of saving a little bit of the history of the school, I know there's thousands of kids that went to the school."
    Now, the new location can't be called "Gringos".
     Parrish has asked that we don't share the name.
    The request will move on to the August 6th council meeting for the council to either approve or deny.
    If it is approved, Parrish says some preliminary plans are already drawn up for a potential contractor.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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