Joplin couple restores city with green initiatives in mind

10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 3:29:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in News
By: Lauren Magarino, KOMU 8 News Reporter
loading

JOPLIN - An EF-5 tornado struck the city of Joplin on May 22, 2011. The next day Jeff Neal, a real estate developer and resident of Joplin, got into his bulldozer and helped clear the streets of his community. 

"It was not a tragedy that we owned and were responsible for. It was an act of nature and what we own and are responsible for is our reaction to that act," he said. 

Neal and his wife Carolina Neal are still reacting to the natural disaster by doing what they do best, rebuilding. The two own a construction company. Together they've rebuilt the city's hospital, high school and oldest park. 

"It was a great time to be from Joplin. In the sense, you had an opportunity to help in your way and get to know your neighbor that not would have been possible otherwise," Jeff Neal said. 

Now the couple has shifted their focus toward restoring downtown Joplin. 

"We want to make the city of Joplin a better place," Carolina Neal said.  
The Neal's deem a better place as one that is eco-friendly. They recently restored the city's first mortuary, built 100 years ago, into a 100 percent environmentally sustainable office space for rent. 
Their decision to go green was one that stemmed from a desire to not only cut construction carbon emissions, but also sustain Joplin's history. 
"You don't know where you're from when you go to a newly developed part of town which is a series of strip malls," Jeff Neal said. 
The two continue to reflect on what they call the biggest lesson as the seven-year anniversary of the tornado approaches in May. 
"We are a community. We are a family. We are all in in this place. For good or bad we need to be together," Carolina Neal said. 
The couple says their hope is to attract investments and more people with sustainable restorations. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Court documents allege Kyle McClain of Moberly fraudulently sold insurance plans to clients of the Central Pantry under... More >>
18 minutes ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 2:56:00 PM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
PETTIS CO. - Deputies recovered a truck Sunday believe to be stolen from Oklahoma by jail escapee Travis Davis. ... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 12:28:00 PM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Carl DeBrodie's family continues to call for justice two years after their loved one's death. On... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 11:51:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating several shooting scenes after an unusually violent day, even for... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 10:40:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of homes have flooded in several Midwestern states after rivers breached at least... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 9:13:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
CENTRALIA - The Lady Panthers Softball Team slid into success at the end of the season with some off-field accolades.... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 8:45:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri state capitol is going to be a lot quieter this week with lawmakers' spring break... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 6:24:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County will soon turn 200 years old, and county commissioners are working on a way to... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 5:16:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - A 13-year-old girl died in a house fire Sunday in Maries County, according to a Facebook post... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Improvement District is offering a grant incentive to downtown restaurants that would eliminate messy grease bins... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 5:42:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Yoga Gives-CoMo held its monthly charity yoga event Sunday afternoon in collaboration with Logboat Brewing Co. This... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A family is forced to move on after a fire destroyed their home of 32 years Saturday... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, are investigating a stabbing death at a hotel. The Kansas... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 1:59:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) - As rivers and creeks in flooded eastern Nebraska and western Iowa crest Saturday, officials have begun... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 11:17:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Three men have been sentenced this week for the kidnapping and torture of a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:03:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Washington University student is suing after he was kicked out of the private St.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:56:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Department increased its presence in Columbia and surrounding areas for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. CPD... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:35:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A home near Centralia was destroyed by fire late Saturday night. The Boone County Fire Protection... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 16 2019 Mar 16, 2019 Saturday, March 16, 2019 11:44:00 PM CDT March 16, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
4pm 53°
5pm 51°
6pm 49°
7pm 47°