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March 19, 2012


Greetings ~


As the region enjoys an early taste of summer in March, there is a wealth of positive news to share on the economic development front. The last couple of weeks have seen the reopening of the Gateway Raceway, the announcement of several significant projects now getting underway and being completed, and news of a rebounding commercial real estate market in Southwestern Illinois. We encourage you to read on for a full recap of all this exciting information.


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Scott nabs most members as credit unions boom (St. Louis Business Journal, 3/2/2012) 


Scott Credit Union Logo

Despite the sluggish economy, Collinsville-based Scott Credit Union, a member of the Leadership Council, continues to see substantial growth. The St. Louis Business Journal reports that more than 13,000 new members joined the banking establishment during 2011, bringing the total number of members to over 94,000, up 16 percent from 2010. Scott also saw savings deposits rise 14 percent in 2011 to $708.5 million. (Read more)



Contegra completes $10.5 million theater renovation (St. Louis Business Journal, 2/29/2012)


Renovated Hatheway Hall at LCCC

Leadership Council member Contegra Construction has wrapped up its $10.5 million renovation and expansion of the Hatheway Hall theater building on the Lewis and Clark Community College campus. Updates include the addition of 6,800 square feet to the building and the renovation of another 62,500 square feet of the structure. Features include a 2,000-square-foot glass-enclosed lobby topped by a suspended "wave" ceiling and a new commercial kitchen. Contegra also supervised the installation of an 8,600-square-foot solar rooftop array that will power the building's hot water system and provide supplementary electrical power. (Read more)


Korte completes work on building at Scott Air Force Base (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/2/2012)


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Leadership Council member KortKorte Construction Logoe Co. has completed work on a 21,500-square-foot, two-story administrative building for the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Scott Air Force Base. Following the Base's standard design guidelines, Korte provided complete design and construction services, along with all work tied to utilities, storm drainage, electric, HVAC and security. The new facility will replace the squadron's current aging building, and was designed to blend with the other structures located within the Base Historic District. (Read more)



Will Gateway's revival rev up area's economy? Race track reopens after closing in 2010 (Belleville News Democrat, 3/12/2012)


The former Gateway InterGateway Raceway (photo from Nascar website)national Raceway, located in Madison, Ill., reopened March 17 as Gateway Motorsports Park. Last September, the 150-acre property was purchased by life-long Metro East resident and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) driver Curtis Francois and a group of investors who reached an agreement with the NHRA to bring racing back to the track. Since then, Francois and his partners have invested more than $1 million on updates and renovations to the facility, which is expected to create 50 full-time jobs and up to 300 part-time

jobs over the next two years. (Read more)



North Main Street project approved (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 3/8/2012)


The Edwardsville Intelligencer reports that the Edwardsville City Council has voted to approve a $3 million construction project on North Main Street. Plans for the project include the relining of the North Main sewer, which will begin in three to four weeks. Following the completion of sewer work, water mains will be replaced, and the Illinois Department of Transportation will resurface and/or rebuild North Main from Fourth Street to High Street. Additional plans for extensive streetscaping, relocation of utilities underground and new sidewalks are also in the works for the project, which is set for completion in spring 2013. (Read more)



Holland Construction, Pepper Construction to build Memorial Hospital-East (St. Louis Business Journal, 3/6/2012)


The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Leadership Council member Holland Construction Services, Inc., has been tapped to serve as construction manager and constructor on the $118 million construction of Memorial Hospital-East. Working alongside Pepper Construction Group of Chicago, Holland Construction will help build the 94-bed adjunct facility which will be located at Frank Scott Parkway East and Cross Street in Shiloh. Plans for the facility include 72 beds in private patient rooms, a 16-bed obstetric unit, a six-bed intensive care unit, cardiac catheterization and gastrointestinal labs and a pharmacy. Pre-construction plans are now underway, with construction expected to begin in March 2013. (Read more)


In Other News . . .


Ameren Illinois has submitted its 10-year, $625 million energy-infrastructure improvement and modernization plan to the Illinois Commerce Commission. Ameren was required to file the plan as

Ameren IL Logopart of smart grid legislation approved last year by the Illinois Legislature, which requires the utility provider to make significant investments to upgrade its electric grid over the next decade. The plan is expected to create 450 jobs in Illinois from now through 2015. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has details on the key investments that are on tap. Read more here.



The Illinois Business Journal spoke with representatives of the two largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in Southwestern Illinois who say the commercial real estate market is showing signs of life for the first time in four years. Read the details from Leadership Council representatives Terry Johnson, president of Johnson Properties in Fairview Heights, and Wayne Barber, a principal with the BARBERMurphy group in Shiloh at




Contact Information

Scott Schanuel

 Interim Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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