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July 5, 2011



I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday weekend and made time to take in one of our region's many events celebrating our nation's independence.


Recent news reports of continuing public and private investments in the Metro East, increases in tourism revenues and plans to bolster exports in the state of Illinois also were cause for celebration over the past couple of weeks.


Check out the latest announcements below, and be sure to share any exciting news you hear about with us so we can continue to spread the word about the positive development activity in our region.


Have a great week!






Quinn wants to double Illinois exports (KSDK-TV via Associated Press 6/22/2011) 

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn kicked off Illinois Exports week with the announcement that, when it comes to trade, his goal is to double the state's exports by 2015. His office said the value of Illinois' exports surpassed $49 billion last year, and that, in the first quarter of this year, the state exported nearly $15 billion worth of non-agriculture goods. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and local Small Business Development Centers are working with businesses to tell them about export opportunities. (Read More) 


$18 Billion in Construction Spending Approved (KMOX via Associated Press 6/22/2011)


Illinois lawmakers eliminated a possible shut down of government construction across the state with their recent approval of $18 billion in construction spending. The spending had been held up by haggling over the state budget.  Both the House and Senate unanimously approved the money, giving the state permission to spend dollars that had previously been set aside for construction. The bill is SB2414. (Read More) 


State  tourism revenues increased  in 2010 (The Alton Telegraph 6/22/2011)


Officials from the Illinois Office of Tourism recently announced that revenue from tourism increased last year by billions of dollars, providing a solid economic impact for the state. The Alton Telegraph reports that Illinois' tourism industry generated $29.3 billion in revenue in 2010, an increase of more than $2.2 billion.   Visitors spent $80 million each day in Illinois in 2010, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. Tourism officials reported that the travel industry generated 287,500 jobs in Illinois in 2010, directly and indirectly supporting one in 10 jobs in the state. (Read More)


Fairview OKs site change for $800,000 Miracle League fields (Belleville News-Democrat 6/27/2011)


The Fairview Heights City Council voted last week to approve the building of the Miracle League baseball fields for people with special needs. The fields will be built at a different location in Everett Moody Park at Longacre than was originally proposed to reduce costs and provide better visibility and proximity to the other ball fields. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the move will reduce the project cost by more than $100,000 because the area won't have to be leveled; expensive, lighter equipment could be avoided; and new utility lines won't have to be forged. The $800,000 project includes the construction of two baseball fields, a concession stand, bathrooms and a parking lot. Plans call for the first field to be complete by spring 2012 and the second is expected to be complete in a couple of years. (Read More)


Mega build planned at Columbia Lakes (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 6/28/2011)


A North Carolina developer has announced plans for 300 rental units and a 60-room hotel in Columbia. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the plans call for three phases of construction east of Illinois State Route 3, including: 62 rental townhouses and 48 apartments on 24 acres alongside Lake Shore Drive, from north of Micah's Way to east of Old Illinois Route 3; 88 apartments and a pool on 7.5 acres west of Columbia Lakes Drive near Kory Drive; and a restaurant and 60-room hotel on 8 acres south to Columbia Lakes Drive and Old Route 3. All of the land is open and owned by First National Bank of St. Louis. Levinson is lining up financing and, pending approval by the Columbia City Council, which is expected to consider the plans this week, he hopes to start on the project before the end of the year. (Read More)


Illinois panel OKs Memorial's Shiloh hospital (St. Louis Business Journal 6/29/2011)


Belleville's plans to build a $118 million satellite hospital in Shiloh are set to move forward now that The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board have given its stamp of approval. The plans call for a 94-bed hospital, to be known as Memorial Hospital-East, on a 94-acre tract of land at Frank Scott Parkway and Cross Street. Hospital officials purchased the site in 2008. The new facility will expand Memorial's reach and allow for all-private rooms in both locations. The St. Louis Business Journal reports that a 12- to 18-month design and development phase will commence right away and completion of the new hospital is slated for the summer of 2017.  (Read More)


Grafton officials get business invitation from Chinese company (The Alton Telegraph 6/29/2011)


The Alton Telegraph is reporting that a Chinese company has invited officials from the City of Grafton on an all-expenses paid trip that could lead to a major development project for the community. Anshan Jiaxian Agriculture Development Co. has invited Mayor Tom Thompson and City Attorney Ben Allen to attend the Oct. 11 grand opening of a new $36 million fish processing factory in Anshan, a city of 3.5 million in Liaoning Province. While Thompson did not reveal publicly what the Chinese want from Grafton, the community is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, which have a plentiful supply of Asian carp and Asian carp are considered a delicacy in China, (Read More


More senior housing is planned (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 7/1/11)


A third Cedarhurst senior housing community is being planned for the Metro East by St. Louis-based Metro Asset Group, which already has opened facilities in Collinsville and Shiloh. The Post-Dispatch is reporting that the newest facility will be built at 7108 Marine Road in Edwardsville. The $7.5 million development will include 54 memory care units tailored to the needs of people with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia. Construction is expected to begin at the 7-acre site in late 2011. (Read More)


Contact Information

Patrick McKeehan

Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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