2018 marked the beginning and completion for development projects around Rolla, and a drive down Highway 63, 72 or Kingshighway will highlight many of the projects helping the community grow. New restaurants, businesses and family dwellings are continuing to be developed.
One example of this development boom is the upcoming residential community St. Maria’s Tatandra, Fijian for “house of dreams,” which was approved to begin breaking ground later this fall.

Mike Woessner, the owner and founder of Investment Realty, said the plans came together after noticing a need and desire from the general public for higher living standards. “We’re kind of designing around really quality living, but making it available to homeowners and tenants alike,” Woessner said about St. Maria’s, which will be a gated community with a clubhouse with amenities.

Woessner said a lot of development is centered around campus. Woessner said developing the campus area is good, but a lot of people do not want to live in that area. “I think one of the other reasons is we’re seeing very little development from campus, there’s a little focus on the general public,” Woessner said.

Woessner said there’s also a desire from those in their 50’s and 60’s looking forward to retirement. “Also, there’s a growing demand for the 50 to 60-year-olds looking for housing from larger homes to maintenance free,” Woessner said.

Affordability is a concern of Woessner’s, but they are focusing on creating higher living standards. “Affordability is always an interesting subject,” Woessner said. “We’ll provide a high-quality community first.” 

“A lot didn’t want to live in campus. They’re not students, they’re professionals, they’re the general public,” Woessner said. Woessner credited Westside Marketplace, a project that he was involved with after purchasing the lot in 2007. Woessner said the Westside Marketplace brought 300 to 400 jobs to Rolla.

After purchasing the lot in 2007, Woessner started looking for a developer and tried to deal with the aftermath of the 2008 recession. “My wife and I bought it in 2007 with the idea of attracting major developers to bring retail that Rolla sorely needed,” Woessner said. Now that Westside Marketplace is essentially complete, Woessner is focusing on doing the same for St. Maria’s Tatandra. 

Bids to help develop St. Maria’s will be put out in early fall, towards September. Woessner said St Maria’s will be as popular as other Rolla neighborhoods like Wellington Place or Kensington Park.

St. Maria’s and Westside Marketplace are only two examples of the development happening in Rolla, with work on the 72 extension underway, and a host of new businesses setting up shop not only in Westside Marketplace, but in every other part of town. New restaurants, and businesses have held their grand openings, and it’s certain more will be on the schedule soon.