Spring 2016

SWIDA & Rise Accept the Governor's Affordable Housing Champion Award 

Mark Stroker, Director of Real Estate Development for Rise, Karen Davis, IHDA Board Member and Mike Lundy, SWIDA Executive Director accept the IHDA Housing Award.

SWIDA, along with majority Partner Rise Community Development, developed Emerald Ridge in East Alton. The grand opening for Emerald Ridge was held on April 20, 2015. The redevelopment consists of 46 new single-family homes, with the majority of the homes occupied by existing neighborhood residents. The new single-family homes are affordable to families earning 60% of the Area Median Income, which includes nearly two-thirds of the residents of East Alton.

Homes in Emerald Ridge in East Alton
On March 29, 2016 at the Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing, SWIDA and Rise accepted the 2016 Wyvetter H. Younge Award in recognition of innovation and excellence in affordable housing in metropolitan Illinois. "This award is an outstanding achievement for SWIDA, RISE and the Village of East Alton. SWIDA and Rise are extremely proud of the accomplishment of providing 46 single-family affordable homes. These homes have made marked improvements to the area known as "The Defense Area.  We would like to thank the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Illinois Housing Council for the recognition this project deserves," said James Nations, SWIDA Board Chairman.
Mr. Nations also wants to acknowledge former Mayor Fred Bright and Mayor Joe Silkwood from the Village of East Alton, Senator Bill Haine, Representative Dan Bieser, Madison County Board Chairman, Alan Dunstan and Madison County Grants Committee along with Altman Charter and local sub-contractors for helping to make this a huge success.

Welcome to SWIDA's new Housing Director, Destini Lednicky!

In January, 2016 SWIDA created a new Housing Director position that would further SWIDA's capacity to undertake housing development activities.  Destini Lednicky came on board in February to fill that position and expand SWIDA's role as an active leader in housing development for the communities in which we serve.  Destini holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work from SIUE and has been certified with the National Development Council as a Housing Development Finance Professional. She brings nearly 13 years of experience working with community development programs and projects through her employment with Madison County Community Development and Justine PETERSEN, a St. Louis Metro area based non-profit.  Through oversight and administration of federal and state grant programs, program development, project underwriting and management, her skills will complement and enhance the mission and goals SWIDA has set for creating new and improved housing opportunities within Bond, Clinton, Madison and St. Clair counties.   


In 2001, SWIDA issued $7,500,000 in bonds to finance the demolition and cleanup of the 144 acre abandoned and blighted Owens Illinois Glass factory site located near downtown Alton. This Herculaneum task was initiated by Clark Properties of St. Louis. Clark Properties specializes in converting abandoned industrial sites into modern industrial parks.  The redevelopment not only included the demolition and environmental cleanup of many acres of abandoned industrial buildings, but also the modernization of an existing 450,000 sq. ft. warehouse complex.  

The development's first phase included the environmental remediation of the entire site and demolition of 12 dilapidated buildings, installing utilities, landscaping and site infrastructure for the first 26 acres that surround the warehouse facility.

Naturally, the warehouse building was originally expected to be leased as a warehouse. However, the first tenant turned out to be American Water Works Service Company, who initially leased 42,550 sq. ft. that was converted into modern high end office space, as a home for their national call center. The call center later expanded to its current 56,400 sq. ft., now housing in excess of 300 workers. America Water Works is a publicly traded corporation with 7,000 employees in 30 states serving an estimated 15 million people.  
There are 3 other tenants in addition to the call center. American Water Resources, with 24,700 sq. ft. is a division of American Water Works Company. The company offers water and sewer line protection to almost 1,000,000 households in 35 states.  The largest tenant, with 222,400 sq. ft., is Imperial Manufacturing Group, a fabricator of heating ducts and dryer vents. The latest tenant, utilizing 41,600 sq. ft., is Advanced Outsource Solutions. The company prepares the disadvantaged and disabled, especially veterans, to overcome their barriers to employment by providing employment through contract work for local businesses. The total employment of all four companies is in excess of 700.    
Like many projects with high risks of this scope, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get all of the project financed through normal private sector sources. It took a team: a dedicated, experienced developer (Clark Properties), city support (Alton) regional support (SWIDA) and in this case, even the State of Illinois, to put together the $18 million initial financing needed to convert this Brownfield's site into a modern industrial park.
Besides the 110,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space still available, there also remains an additional 20 acres for industrial uses and 55 acres for commercial, retail and entertainment development.  

Office Space for Rent at SWIDA Location
Contact: BARBERMurphy Group ∙ 1173 Fortune Boulevard Shiloh, IL 62269 ∙ Office 618-277-4400 

SWIDA's Resources

Through its enabling legislation, SWIDA has been given a wide variety of powers to: finance, buy, sell, own, create, and manage almost any type of activity that would contribute to the economic development of SWIDA's four- county region.


SWIDA's main tools for fostering economic development include:


Issuing tax-exempt revenue bonds


For all bonds issued through SWIDA, the buyer of the bonds does not only not have to pay Federal income tax, but also does not pay State of Illinois income tax on the interest they receive from buying the bonds. The project has to meet Federal IRS guidelines to qualify to be Federal tax-exempt.


The bonds are not bought or guaranteed by SWIDA or any other governmental entity. The bonds are sold in the private financial markets to individuals or institutions solely on the strength of the project and the company borrowing for the project.  If the company financials are not strong enough to meet the market requirements, they may have their local bank guarantee or buy the bonds directly.  


Advantages of tax-exempt financing: 

The main and very strong advantage of tax-exempt bonds is the significantly lower interest rate the borrower pays. Because the buyer of the bonds does not have to pay income tax at all on the bonds, the buyer is willing to accept a lower tax-exempt interest income. This is similar to an individual buying municipal bonds for one's personal financial portfolio. In fact most SWIDA bonds can be bought by individuals.


The lower differential interest rate can be as much as 1.5% to 2% annually, which over the course of a typical 20-year, multi-million dollar bond issue can add up to significantly large actual dollars saved from financing of the project.  Depending on the size of the project, the overall savings over the life of the bonds can range from at least hundreds of thousand dollars to several million dollars.      



James Nations, Chair

Reggie Sparks

Barbara Johnson

Khalil El-Amin

Jim Sullivan

Dave Willey

David Miller

Kennard Tucker

John Hipskind

Kevin Kaufhold

Greg Kuehnel

Joseph Gray

Tom Hoechst


Mike Lundy, Exec Dir

Joe Gasparich

Teri Rumsey

Destini Lednicky
Contact Us

Southwestern Illinois Development Authority

1022 Eastport Plaza Dr

Collinsville, Illinois



(618) 345-3400

Email: info@swida.org



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618.334.1252 Cell

Did you know...

SWIDA has issued $1.3 Billion in Bonds.

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