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May 2, 2011


Good Afternoon.

I'm pleased to send you the 2nd edition of Metro East NewsLink and happy to report that, based on all the good news occurring right now in our region, we decided to switch from a monthly schedule to bi-monthly. From this point forward you will receive a NewsLink e-mail on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. This twice-a-month communications tool will help keep you informed on the positive developments and important economic development efforts in our region. We hope this information is useful and that you take a moment to share these e-mails with your colleagues, clients and others with an interest in our region.  (They can get Metro East NewsLink sent directly to them by clicking on the "Join our Mailing List" box at the bottom.)

 Thanks for all the positive feedback on the first edition of NewsLink and let us know if there are any major projects and/or developments that we need to report. 

Have a great week!




SIUE sees building boom despite recession and state's budget woes (Illinois Business Journal, April 2011)

With the Leadership Council's most recent Market Review & Investment Update listing 21 construction projects at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a cost of $176 million in varying stages of construction, The Illinois Business Journal takes a deeper look at what's driving the investments and their impact on the region. The growing campus is reported to have an annual economic impact of $417 million and a budget of over $250 million a year.(Read More)

Bunge joint venture to build Illinois grain terminal (St. Louis Business Journal - 4/11/11)

Bunge North America and a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc. are joining forces to build a new grain terminal in Fairmont City, Ill. The facility, which will be on the Mississippi River just south of the site of the new bridge, will receive bulk commodities such as grains, soybeans and their byproducts, and ship them domestically and internationally. It will have storage capacity of more than 1 million bushels. Construction is expected to take a year and employ about 100 people. Upon completion, the new grain terminal facility will have up to 20 full-time employees. (Read More)

Riverfront development: New grain terminal coming to Metro East (Belleville News Democrat, 4/8/11)


In the wake of the announcement about a new grain terminal coming to Fairmont City, Belleville News Democrat reporter Will Buss takes a closer look at how the Metro East is taking advantage of a new emphasis on river transport.  (Read More)

New Eateries seen as sign of recovery - Three new restaurants open in Granite City (Granite City Press Record, 4/10/11)

Three new restaurants opened in Granite City in March, a sign that the economy may be improving. A Taste of Cali, Firehouse Barbeque and Aiello's Pizzeria all had strong opening weeks. Local economic development officials point to increased activity in heavy industries in the area as one of the reasons for the growth in dining options. (Read More)

SWIC approves $3.3 million in projects (Belleville News Democrat - 4/21/11)

Southwestern Illinois College approved $3.3 million for two new projects at its April 20th board of trustees meeting. The board approved $1.6 million for the construction of a new 9,230-square-foot building for the college's horticulture and technical education programs, and also approved a contract for $1.8 million for the 72,000-square-foot expansion of the college's Liberal Arts Building.  The latter follows the state's announcement that it will give the college $19.1 million to help pay for the project. (Read More) 

Mixed-use development project breaks ground near Emerson Park MetroLink station (, 4/21/11)


Ground was broken April 21 for Jazz @ Walter Circle, a new $17 million mixed-use development in East St. Louis adjacent to the Emerson Park MetroLink Station. The four-story facility will include 74 affordable housing units for seniors, a green grocery store, a community credit union, a Southern Illinois Health Foundation Wellness Center, a 6,000-square-foot community center, and roof and terrace community gardens. The development is a public private partnership between the East St. Louis Housing Authority, Hampton Roads Ventures and Dudley Ventures, and is reportedly the first in the nation to combine public housing development funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with New Market Tax Credits. The project is expected to be complete sometime in 2012. (Read More) 

St. Elizabeth's on the prowl for property (St. Louis Business Journal - 4/22/11)

St. Elizabeth's Hospital is investing $4 million in a variety of upgrades at its 426-bed downtown Belleville facility. $2.5 million will be used to upgrade the hospital's cardiac monitoring systems, while $1.5 million will fund improvements to the interior finishes in its intensive care unit and critical care unit, conversion of some patient rooms to private rooms, and renovation of several visitor lounges and nursing stations.  The work is expected to begin in July and be completed by mid 2012. (Read More)

New Belleville forensic lab gets $38 million (St. Louis Business Journal - 4/25/11)


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently announced $37.8 million in state funding for a new Illinois State Police forensic laboratory in Belleville. The 60,000-square-foot facility will include equipment for crime scene science, anthropology, trace and forensic biology, chemistry, polygraph, latent prints, firearms and DNA testing. The project will create approximately 260 construction jobs and is expected to be completed by late 2012. (Read More) 


Contact Information
Patrick McKeehan

Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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