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May 16, 2011



Even all of the rain this past weekend can't put a damper on the fact that the past two weeks still delivered some good news for our region. This edition recaps coverage about another large new office building for a prime defense contractor with Scott Air Force Base, better news on the housing front, new jobs coming to Southwestern Illinois, expansion of the entertainment offerings in Belleville, an update on highway improvements in Madison County and more federal dollars for high speed rail between St. Louis and Chicago.

While we don't seem to be having any trouble finding great stories to share, we encourage you to continue to let us know if you hear of any major projects and/or developments that we need to report. 

Have a great week!



Illinois gets another $186 million for high-speed rail (Chicago Tribune 5/4/11)


Illinois has been awarded another $186 million in federal money to advance the state's high speed rail initiative. The money, which was originally to go to Florida but was turned down, will be used for improvements on part of the 110-mph corridor from Chicago to St. Louis, between Dwight and Joliet, Ill. With this latest award, the Obama administration has awarded more than $1.4 billion to Illinois to develop high-speed train service.(Read More)


Mitre to build $5.5 million office building in Shiloh (St. Louis Business Journal 5/6/11)


Shiloh, Illinois will soon be home to a new $5.5 million, 22,000-square-foot office building which will house 66 employees. The facility is for Mitre Corp., a national nonprofit that serves the defense industry and other government agencies. Mitre Corp. will be consolidating its entire St. Louis area staff from three separate facilities into the new location, which will be located at the intersection of Route 158 and Seibert Road. The business park will have 15 acres remaining for future development. (Read More)


State plans lane closings on I-55 here (Edwardsville Intelligencer 5/7/11)


IDOT recently announced a $42.3 million project to reconstruct 11 miles of I-55 in Madison County. While it may mean traffic headaches for some Metro East drivers between now and November 15, there is a silver lining. It's just one of several projects contributing to a very busy construction season for IDOT, which has more than $500 million in projects underway. (Read More) 


Coal plant to hire 200 more workers (Belleville News-Democrat 5/9/11)


Prairie State Energy Campus in rural Washington County will soon be adding 200 additional employees to operate the new power plant and corporate office.  The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the power plant is 75 percent finished, and by December, the first of two energy-generating units at the $4 billion power plant should be ready to go online. The second is anticipated to begin by summer 2012. (Read More)


Foreclosures hit 2-year low in Madison, St. Clair counties (Belleville News-Democrat 5/9/11)


The number of residents in foreclosure in Madison and St. Clair counties in April were the lowest in two years.  According to public record, only 77 Madison County residents filed to foreclose in April, while 81 did the same in St. Clair County. Those represent the lowest monthly totals for both counties since May of 2009. (Read More) 


Historic Belleville theater gets facelift (Belleville News-Democrat 5/9/11)


The Lincoln Theatre, which originally opened at 103 E Main in Belleville in1921, is making a range of improvements to enhance visitors' experience. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that with a $600,000 expansion already under way, the owners are planning digital projectors, a bigger, self-serve concession area, and a gourmet popcorn shop attached to the theater.  (Read More)


Two new movie theaters planned for Belleville (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5/13/11) 


The EDGE, a food and entertainment complex at 701 South Belt West in Belleville, will soon be home to two new first run movie theaters.  The EDGE, an acronym for Eats, Drinks, Games, Etc., houses a laser tag arena, video arcade and a restaurant and bar. The owners plan to close the facility's miniature golf course and build two theaters, investing over $2 million in the project, which will be completed by year's end.  (Read More)

Contact Information

Patrick McKeehan

Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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