Sam Coryell, three generations
From left: Coryell Collaborative Group Co-Founder Sam E. Coryell, 80, Heritage of Springfield Property Manager Sam Coryell, 22, and CCG President Sam M. Coryell, 50. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

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The grounds that once held the beloved Heritage Cafeteria — known for serving its famous chicken-fried steak and key lime pie to Springfield for more than five decades — have been repurposed as a mixed-use development with luxury apartments and retail space.

Heritage officially opened its doors on April 1, and the complex is more than 50% occupied as of June 19, with 80% of the units under contract, Sam Coryell, Heritage property manager, said during a media event at the complex. Two retail spaces on the ground floor have been contracted, with one lease executed.

Heritage, located at 1364 E. Battlefield Rd., features five floors and 95 units, including lofts, micro-studios and a 1,450-square-foot penthouse, as well as one-bedroom to three-bedroom apartments, according to the company website. The luxury apartments range in price, with a 470-square-foot micro-studio starting at $1,219 per month and a three-bedroom with 1,280 square feet coming in at $3,100 per month.

A view of a 3 Bedroom/3 Bath residency at the Heritage, totaling 1,280 square feet. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

The amenities and services are what makes Heritage really stand out, Coryell said. Amazon Alexa home devices are built into the units, with smart appliances, devices and controls allowing residents remote access. There's an outdoor pool, storage lockers, a dog walking area, covered parking units, and a top-floor lounge space complete with a workout facility and a sports simulator. The complex offers flex services, including apartment cleanings, laundry, pet walking and more.

“Living in Heritage — it’s pretty much an experience that’s unprecedented,” Sam M. Coryell, son of prominent Springfield businessman Sam E. Coryell, said.

Sam M. Coryell is the president of Coryell Collaborative Group, while Sam E. Coryell sits on its board of directors. Sam E. Coryell founded TLC Properties in Springfield with his wife, Carol, in 1988, and is the father of Sam M. Coryell. Sam M. Coryell's son is also named Sam, and doesn't use his middle initial in a professional setting.

The youngest of three generations of Sam Coryell, 22, believes in the apartment complex enough to live in it.

“Everything from the smart-home tech that’s actually built into the units, all the way to the flex services, which is anything from apartment cleanings to an actual Tesla on site that will chauffeur you around,” Sam Coryell said.

“There’s really nothing like Heritage around here.”

Homage to the Springfield staple restaurant, Heritage Cafeteria

A mail room at the Heritage apartment building offers a peek into the past with this photo of early-1960s Heritage Cafeteria. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

The new Heritage pays homage to the buffet-style restaurant that sat at Fremont Avenue and Battlefield Road for 56 years. The new apartment complex features a self-serve bodega named after the Evans, owners of Heritage Cafeteria. The lobby even features an old sign from the cafeteria.

“I always want to recognize the heritage of Heritage,” said Sam M. Coryell. “Many of you probably eat at the Heritage Cafeteria. We have tried to maintain that memory, and the legacy, here.”

“If you walk around the building, you will find little tributes here and there to the old Heritage Cafeteria.”

Unfortunately for the cafeteria's die-hard fans who may sniffing the air for the scent of fried everything, the new complex won't be serving the old restaurant's staples anytime soon, Sam M. Coryell said.

“No, we won't be serving any chicken fried steak or key lime pie,” Sam M. Coryell said with a laugh.

Heritage complex appraised at $31.5 million, state-of-the-art Amazon units

A glimpse of the Heritage building’s north side. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

The Heritage complex was recently appraised at $31.5 million by JLL, a commercial real estate valuation service, Sam M. Coryell said. The goal of the mixed-use development was to bring urban living to a new part of Springfield, including luxury amenities that enhance resident's experiences.

“What we wanted to bring to Springfield was the very best of urban living,” Sam M. Coryell said. “A lot of walkable surfaces, safety and convenience. So, the very best of downtown urban living, but on the southside of Springfield. And I think we’ve delivered.”

Several retail centers, restaurants and the Battlefield Mall are within walking distance of the Heritage complex. Construction on the mixed-use development started in 2022, but the idea came to Sam M. Coryell in 2019.

The technology featured throughout the complex is state-of-the-art, with bells and whistles in nearly every component of the build. The Amazon Alexa built-in systems allow all kinds of remote access, like locking the front door, turning down the air conditioner or even controlling the lights, Coryell said.

The Alexa units are expected to have software updates in the future that will bring features like Bluetooth entry and the ability for a tenant to call the elevator the moment they leave their apartment. Residents have a number of apps to choose from to control the systems in their apartment, including an in-house Heritage app.

Amenities akin to a luxury hotel; packages for flex services

Residents at the Heritage can opt for covered parking with electric vehicle charging stations. They can also request a lift from a Tesla on-site – or take it for a spin. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

Heritage has electric vehicle chargers disbursed throughout the complex, including covered parking spaces with a charger that can be rented and two superchargers available to the public for a fee. The supercharges can charge a car in about an hour, Sam M. Coryell said.

The flex services include a range of amenities that make living at the Heritage feel more like a hotel experience than an apartment building, Sam Coryell said.

“Pretty much... your wish is our command” when it comes to the flex services, Coryell said. “You can just ask and we'll probably do it.”

Jeremy Rabe, co-host of “Ozarks Fox AM,” tries out the sports simulator at the Heritage. Golf is the most popular option, but residents can try simulated competition in one of 60 sports. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

There are different packages of services that a resident can buy, or services can be purchased a la carte, Sam M. Coryell said. There is also an option to buy all the services offered, which cost 20% of the tenant's rent.

Heritage owns a single Tesla sedan which can be rented out by the hour by residents to run errands, or a driver can chauffeur residents to their destinations, Sam M. Coryell said. There are plans to add a second Tesla car soon.

The property, Heritage Apartments, is owned by Heritage Project, LLC, according to the Greene County Assessor's Office records. The property has over 87,000 square feet and the last sale date was in March 2021. It had an appraised land value of just over $1 million.

Heritage leased by out-of-towners, remote workers and a wide variety of ages

A lofted space available at the Heritage, an apartment building in Springfield that stands on the site of the former Heritage Cafeteria. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

Two of the ground-floor retail stores have been contracted, Sam M. Coryell said. The smart-mattress company, iSense, has leased one of the retail spaces, while the president declined to identify the second contracted tenant. One space is still unoccupied.

As far as apartment tenants go, the 50-year old Sam M. Coryell said he has been surprised by two things: The most expensive apartments leased first in the complex, and the majority of residents have come from out of town, with many relocating from bigger cities and many coming to Springfield for remote work. Ages of tenants have varied from 25 to 75.

“I am shocked by the amount of people coming in from out of town,” Sam M. Coryell said.

Coryell Collaborative Group is developing another residential building in Galloway Village, Sam M. Coryell said. The group will include the lofts similar to those first featured in Heritage. The president said he takes all the lessons of his previous builds straight into the next.

“I did learn more about what people want,” Sam M. Coryell said. “Every time I build a community, I learn something different, even though I’ve been doing it for 30 years.”

An outdoor pool offers a 1-foot-deep wading section and increases to a 5-foot-depth at the far end. Residents also have hot tub access. (Photo by Mary Ellen Chiles)

Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is the business and economic development reporter for the Hauxeda. Collins graduated from Glendale High School in 2011 before studying journalism and economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked for Bloomberg News. Contact him at (417) 849-2570 or More by Ryan Collins