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February 6, 2012




As the unseasonably warm weather continues, things appear to be heating up in the commercial development sector in the Metro East. New retail centers are nearing completion bringing more restaurant offerings, new stores are moving into the region and new agreements are taking shape for redevelopment adjacent to one of our region's airports. Recent news also spotlighted the national honors earned by two of our local hospitals and exciting news from the education sector. A host of other developments have St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern optimistic for the future, and we'll continue to bring you summaries as those projects reach key milestones in the coming months. It looks like we'll have much to celebrate as we gather for our annual Salute to Southwestern Illinois Awards Dinner on April 5th.


Have a great week! 




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Local hospitals earn national honors (Belleville News-Democrat, 1/24/12)


Two Belleville hospitals' recent honors are a testament to the high quality healthcare that is available in the Metro East area. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, HealthGrades, a national independent health care-rating organization, ranked Belleville Memorial Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Hospital as being among the nation's best. Memorial Hospital was named as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence and was ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for clinical performance.St. Elizabeth's hospital was also recognized for its critical care unit. (Read More)



Kern notes economic achievements (Belleville News-Democrat, 1/28/12)


The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern expressed optimism about the County's future at the State of St. Louis event hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal on January 20th. Kern noted that his optimism is fueled by the fact that St. Clair County has several significant projects underway and has also seen a 7 percent increase in revenue. Noteworthy projects that he cites will have a positive economic impact on the area are: the Mississippi River Bridge project, Bunge North America's new grain terminal opening in Fairmont City this spring, the new warehouse under construction at MidAmerica Airport and the upcoming re-opening of Gateway International Raceway. (Read More) 



Bethalto airport looking to land economic expansion (Belleville News-Democrat, 1/30/12)


The St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto has recently purchased land adjacent to the airport to help fix a storm water drainage problem and to create new business on the property. According to the Belleville News-Democrat. St. Louis-based commercial developer, G.J. Grewe, Inc., has entered into a tentative agreement with the St. Louis Regional Airport Authority to redevelop a former subdivision that has already been acquired, cleared and rezoned for light industrial or commercial development. The property is near the airport's primary runway and Illinois 255 and the existing infrastructure makes it a good site for redevelopment. The second purchase agreement is for 11.2 acres northeast of the airport that will be farmed in order to help correct a storm water drainage problem. 

(Read More)



Roosevelt Elementary School in Belleville, Illinois wins $100,000 grant (KSDK, 1/27/12)

Target Stores and the Ellen DeGeneres Show recently awarded Roosevelt Elementary School $100,000, KSDK-TV reports. Parent-school volunteer, Tanya McGrew, submitted an application for the school two months ago and helped Roosevelt Elementary become one of only 50 schools in the United States to receive the grant. The grant must be used to purchase specific items such as new books or technology, and a committee of teachers, administrators, parents and students will determine how the money will be spent. (Read More) 


New sporting goods store coming to Wood River (Alton Telegraph, 1/31/12)

Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc., has announced plans to open a new store in Wood River. The retailer will move into the former Blockbuster property at 1855 Vaughn Road. Expected to open this summer, the store is looking to employ eight full-time and part-time employees. (Read More)


Contegra gets contract to build new school in Gillespie (Alton Telegraph, 1/31/12)


Edwardsville-based Contegra has been awarded a $15.5 million building contract to construct the new Ben-Gil Elementary School in Gillespie. Fellow Leadership Council member Korte and Luitjohan Construction of Highland will lay the foundation for the 93,000-square-foot building. Mine grouting is already underway at the school site, and the construction timeline calls for the new facility to be open by spring 2013. The new 93,000-square-foot building will be 15,000 square-feet larger than the old Benld Elementary School which was condemned in 2009 due to structural damage from mine subsidence.(Read More)



O'Fallon, Ill., project nearly done (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/3/12)


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last week that Fairview Heights-based Impact Strategies is wrapping up work on construction of the $1.9 million Greenmount Corporate Center II for developer Johnson Properties. Located at 455 Regency Park in O'Fallon, Ill., the new retail development will include the Metro East's second Bella Milano restaurant location. (Read More)


In Other News


Site Selection Magazine, one of the top-rated U.S. publications covering corporate-facility location strategy, published its annual list of megasites with mega potential in its January issue. We're pleased to report that Discovery Business Park in Dupo, Ill., is among the Illinois sites included on this year's list.

Contact Information

Scott Schanuel

 Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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