Neosho, located in the southwestern corner of Missouri, is the most populated city and the county seat of Newton County. Neosho lies at the western edge of the Missouri Ozarks, and is known for its natural, freshwater springs. Founded in 1839 and incorporated in 1878, this “City of Springs” was an ideal location for settlers.

Downtown Neosho is laid out in a traditional downtown square with historic commercial buildings surrounding the Newton County Courthouse. A majority of the buildings were constructed between 1870 and 1900, and create a unique and historic downtown area. At the time the city was designated a DREAM community, the downtown area was already beginning to see new investment and restoration.

Now nearing completion of the DREAM Initiative planning work, there is a strong revitalization effort led by many concerned and involved citizens. Some accomplishments for Downtown Neosho include:

  • Completing a project in Fall 2009 along West Spring Street that rehabilitated seven existing parking lots and constructed an additional downtown parking lot, funded in part by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB)
  • Acquiring properties on a block adjacent to the downtown square, fulfilling a strategic objective to restore a historic spring and increase public green space downtown; demolition is expected to commence in 2010, funded in part by DED and MDFB
  • Using a Missouri Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant, funded new sidewalks and decorative historic lighting east of the downtown square and creating a new pedestrian trail connection from downtown to the existing trail network in the city’s largest park
  • Utilizing the Missouri Housing Development Commission Home Repair Opportunity (HeRO) program for use on 15 homes within the DREAM boundary of Downtown Neosho
  • Funding aesthetic and traffic-calming streetscape improvements on the downtown square with a funding assistance from DED
  • Improving alleyways with partial funding from the MDFB
  • Restoring the Sterling Building, a significant commercial building located in the historic district on a corner of the downtown square, using state and federal historic tax credits; completed in 2008, the revitalized, mixed-use building includes retail and commercial space on the first floor and residential on the second floor
  • Purchasing and rehabilitating a downtown building for use as the Neosho Community Development Center, partially funded by tax credits from the DED; completed in 2009, the center houses office and meeting space, the Neosho Area Business and Industrial Foundation Inc., the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce and the Neosho Area Economic Development Department
  • Reopening the Neosho Civic in 2006 after an extensive rehabilitation and enhancing the venue with an online ticket vending system with a funding by the Missouri Arts Council