The real estate agent says he can't disclose the major retailer that would locate here if the project becomes a reality. (Photo by Steve Pokin)


Business deals occasionally can be cloaked in secrecy, especially when land is “under contract” but not yet officially sold.

That’s probably why developer Thomas K. Walker, who owns Retail Realty Group in Town and Country, hasn’t responded to my requests for comment on whether Springfield will soon have a second Target.

Walker is the mover-and-shaker planning a commercial development on 22 acres at the southeast corner of West Sunshine Street and West Bypass Highway 160. It is four pieces of property with three separate owners.

This is the section of land — from West Bypass/Highway 160, on the left, to Moore Road (Farm Road 133) — that might become the Sunshine Towne Centre. (Greene County Assessor’s office)

I’ve been asking around — OK, I’ll say it — I’ve been Pokin’ Around to see if the development will include a Target store.

A friend from my News-Leader days asked me that question last month.

The developer presented plans Feb. 14 to nearby homeowners on Washita Street at the Macedonia Baptist church on West Sunshine. The plans for what he is calling Sunshine Towne Centre included a 147,000-square-foot retail building.

That’s the right size for a Big Box retailer.

The word ‘Target’ was spoken multiple times

I was not at this Feb. 14 meeting. A KY3 reporter was there. His story does not mention Target, but it does state the developer had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

On Friday, March 10, I spoke to Lilly Tracz, 15, who attended the open house with her grandparents, who are her guardians. They live nearby on West Washita Street.

Tracz tells me that she is “pretty positive” that representatives of the developer said the development will include a Target.

It’s possible, she says, they could have said the big box store would be “something like” a Target.

Either way, she says, representatives used the word “Target” multiple times in talking about plans.

“The whole thing kind of makes me uncomfortable,” she says. “They are going to do it, regardless.” Her grandparents will have to put up a privacy fence, she says.

I later spoke to Kathy White, 75, who was interviewed by the TV reporter about the plans. She lives on Washita; her backyard also abuts the proposed project, where the vacant land is now vacant. She told me she didn’t actually attend the meeting.

She bought her home only months ago.

“The idea of a big retail location directly in back of me was sort of unnerving,” she says.

City records indicate there once was a house on the vacant property. It appears that it was demolished in 2005.

Amazon had non-disclosures with Republic

If there is a confidentiality agreement, the city is not part of it.

(Part of the acreage is in the city and part in Greene County. The plan is for the development to be annexed into the city.)

I filed an Open Records request under Missouri law with the city and received several documents, but there was no mention of a confidentiality agreement between the city and any person or entity connected to the property.

My best guess is that one of the potential tenants has requested confidentiality. Perhaps a potential anchor tenant? Perhaps Target?

As a reporter, the only other time I have dealt with confidentiality agreements regarding a development was in October 2020. But I admit I am not a business reporter.

Amazon, through another company, required 13 city officials in Republic, including the then-mayor and the prior mayor, to sign a non-disclosure agreement to not reveal that the corporate giant was coming to town.

The confidentiality agreement was with Seefried Industrial Properties, based in Georgia, not Amazon. The company has worked with Amazon elsewhere in the nation.

I wrote about this for the News-Leader on Oct. 27, 2020.

The one exception to the non-disclosure agreement was if someone made a request under the state’s Sunshine law, which I did.

So many sources and so few answers

Todd Chambers is the real estate agent for the West Sunshine property in Springfield.

He tells me that, yes, he knows the answer to my question as to whether Target will locate a second Springfield store on the site, but adds that he is prohibited from disclosing that information.

He said the property is under contract and directed me to Walker.

The 8.73-acre vacant tract that borders South Moore Road, also called South Farm Road 133, is owned by Sunshine Crossing Limited Liability Company.

How do you contact a Limited Liability Company?

You call the registered agent. In this case, that’s local attorney Aaron P. Lyons, who never responded.

I reviewed enough documents to discover that Scott Tillman is the manager of Sunshine Crossing LLC.

He also told me the parcel is under contract — no surprise — and not only is he contractually prohibited from telling me what’s going in, but he is also contractually prohibited from telling me if he knows if a Target is going in.

Councilman asks what’s going in

A different 13.8 acres of the total — including the location of Elite Home Sales, which specializes in manufactured and modular homes — is owned by the Donald L. and Patricia L. McCurry Trust.

I called Patricia McCurry and did not hear back.

A sliver (0.21 acres) of the site belongs to South Creek Development Group. The president is Tom Kissee. I called him, too. He did not return my call, either.

On Monday night, March 6, Councilman Mike Schilling, a former newspaper reporter, asked what the developer’s “intentions” were for the property.

“The information I have in my packet says it would be a retail use,” said Susan Istenes, the city’s director of planning and zoning.

Walker, the developer, apparently has experience with major retailers.

I found a mention of him in a 2005 story in the Springfield News-Leader. He is described as the developer who “brought the Walmart Supercenter to Ozark last year (2004.)”

He is listed in a 2002 story as the developer of a Walmart Supercenter in St. Robert.

He had previously developed a Walmart in Nixa.

Walmart is the No. 1 retailer in the nation. Target is No. 2.

A Walmart Supercenter is across the street at 3520 W. Sunshine St., at the southwest corner of the intersection of West Sunshine and West Bypass/Highway 160.

‘Continually evaluating potential store locations’

Just so you know, the Springfield Daily Citizen contacted Target’s corporate headquarters to ask if a second store is coming to Springfield.

A spokeswoman for the company responded via email:

“We are continually evaluating potential store locations to serve new guests, but I don’t have any new-store news to share at this time. You can reference this page for a list of upcoming stores we have announced.”

Reporter Rance Burger and Managing Editor Brittany Meiling contributed to this story.

This is Pokin Around column No. 103.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin