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February 18, 2013

Greetings ~


Over the past two weeks, we've seen more positive news coming out of several of our Metro East communities and updates on some significant projects that are well underway. Among these are the $11 million South Harbor project in Granite City, the $52 million Science Building at SIUE and a $30 million hospital in Highland. Construction is also set to begin on the new Asian carp plant in Grafton, while Kraft Foods is considering a $40 million expansion at its Granite City plant. Read on to learn more about these and other developments taking shape in Southwestern Illinois.  


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New SIUE Science Building should be ready by fall (The Alton Telegraph, February 13, 2013)


According to The Alton Telegraph, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) will be opening its brand new Science Building this fall to students and faculty. Connected to the original Science Building, the $52 million, four-story building will allow for more classroom, offices and innovative technology. The 139,000-square-foot facility is being built to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements set by the U.S. Green Building Council, and will include solar panels on the roof, low-flow plumbing fixtures, sun shades and high-efficiency insulation, among other green features. SIUE is also planning on renovating the current building, which is expected to cost an additional $30 million and will take two years to complete. (Read More)



Historic theater reopens in Highland (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, February 2, 2013)


After undergoing extensive renovations, the 100-year-old Lory Theater in Highland recently reopened after being closed for a year and a half. Upgrades to the theater include the replacement of the electrical system, bathrooms and roof, repairs to the ceiling, restoration of wall fixtures, and the installation of a brand new state-of-the-art sound system, screen and digital projector. According to the Edwardsville Intelligencer, the project cost $400,000 to complete and was done with the help of the new Highland Entrepreneurship program, which assists entrepreneurs in writing business plans and applying for business loans. Future plans for the theater call for renovations to the second story, as well as adding another screen. (Read More)



Family Dollar coming to Wood River (The Alton Telegraph, February 4, 2013),


Two years after the Walgreens closed in Wood River, the vacant building, which sits at 18 W. Edwardsville Road, will now host Family Dollar. The store officially opened on Feb. 14. Offering every day, affordable products, the retailer will provide between eight and 10 jobs. With stores already in Alton and Jerseyville, the Wood River location will be joining the 7,200 Family Dollar stores nationwide. (Read More)



Eckert breaks tie vote; Belleville to give $200K in TIF funds for new grocery store (Belleville News-Democrat, February 4, 2013)


The Belleville City Council has approved tax increment financing funds to Kroger Co. The foods retailer will receive $200,000 for the construction of a new 19,260-square-foot Ruler Foods store at 1703 North Belt West in Belleville. In order to locate the new store in Belleville, Kroger Co. had to commit to a development agreement. The agreement insists that the store must invest at least $2.9 million in the infrastructure of the building, remain in the city for at least five years, create 12 full-time jobs and generate a minimum of $5.5 million in sales in the first two years. (Read More)



Belleville moves forward with incentives plan for old YMCA (Belleville News-Democrat, February 13, 2013)


According to the Belleville News-Democrat, the City of Belleville Finance Committee recently approved a proposed agreement that would move Replacement Services, LLC's, corporate offices from Swansea to the former downtown YMCA in Belleville. The Belleville City Council will need to give final approval. The company provides claim and underwriting services to property and casualty insurance companies and is looking to turn part of the old YMCA into a call center. Having been vacant since 2006, the building's renovation costs are estimated at $800,000. Replacement Services LLC is looking to buy the building for $1, which is what the city had paid for it. Additionally, the company is asking the city for $210,000 in tax increment financing funds. (Read More)



City sees rise in value of building permits (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, February 11, 2013)


According to the Edwardsville Intelligencer, the City of Edwardsville has seen an increase in the value of building permits for the third year in a row. In 2012, the value of permits totaled more than $46 million, a 12 percent increase from 2011, and a 113 percent increase from 2009. In 2012, commercial building permits totaled $25.8 million, while single-family homes totaled $8.6 million, representing increases of 35 percent and 31.8 percent, respectively, from the previous year. (Read More)



Kraft Foods considers $40 million expansion at Granite City Plant (Suburban Journals, February 12, 2013)


Kraft Foods is asking Granite City and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to expand the street outside its plant before it moves forward with a $40 million expansion that would add 30 new jobs. The company would like a 750-foot stretch of Missouri Ave. to be widened in front of the plant to improve traffic flow and safety. The improvements of the street will cost $400,000, with $300,000 provided under IDOT's Economic Development Program and $100,000 provided by Granite City through tax increment financing. The work would take six to eight weeks to be completed, if approved by City Council. (Read More)



Enterprise zone expansion may help dealership (The Alton Telegraph, February 13, 2013)


Two businesses proposed plans during a recent public hearing at the Alton City Hall that would expand the Riverbend area's 13.68-square-mile Enterprise Zone by 60 acres. Quality Buick GMC Cadillac has proposed adding 10 acres, and would use the tax incentives offered by the enterprise zone to help pay for its planned $1.2 - $1.4 million renovation and expansion of its current building, located at 1620 Homer Adams Parkway. The project is expected to get underway in March with completion set for June. Moran Economic Development of Edwardsville also proposed an expansion on behalf of the Village of Bethalto and developer Gary Grewe of G.J. Grewe Inc. of St. Louis. G.J. Grewe, Inc., is looking to build a commercial development on the 50 acres the St. Louis Regional Airport owns southwest of the intersection of Illinois Routes 140 and 111. The approval process for the proposed expansions can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. (Read More)



O'Fallon, Ill., is positioned for growth, which has started to take off. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 14, 2013) 


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently featured O'Fallon as a city that is a hub for new growth. Over the  next year, O'Fallon is set to have over eight projects completed or under construction. These include the new $23 million Menards, a project in which Leadership Council member Poettker Construction is serving as general contractor, an $8.1 million expansion and renovation at Colonnade Senior Living and Memory Care Center on Weber Road, and a $3.9 million expansion project at St. Clare Catholic School, headed by Leadership Council member Holland Construction Services. The city's residential sector also continues to grow, with nearly 100 new homes built annually since 2008. (Read More)



Collinsville's streetscape project moves to the east side (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 14, 2013)


East Main Street in Collinsville will get new sidewalks, curbs, signage and decorative streetlamps as part of the last phase of the downtown streetscape project, which started in 1999. The $1.5 million project will be funded through a $1.2 million grant the city recently received from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program. As part of the grant, the City of Collinsville must fund the remaining $300,000 for the project. The renovation is set to be completed in 2015. (Read More)



Work to begin on Asian Carp Plant in Grafton (St. Louis Business Journal, February 15, 2013)


The City of Grafton received a $1.9 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to begin construction on an Asian carp plant. The grant was awarded last July to help fund the construction of the 130,000-square-foot processing facility, which, once operating, will export 15 million carp to China. With construction set to start next month, the project is estimated to provide 36 jobs. (Read More)  



SMS Engineers, Washington Avenue Flood Control Project, South Roxana (Illinois Business Journal, February 2013)


Leadership Council member SMS Engineers has been working with the Village of South Roxana to help solve flooding issues on Washington Ave. The company plans to install a storm sewer system that will include a 2,400-foot storm sewer line that will run south from the intersection of Washington and Madison and a larger storm water retention basin. The project is being funded through a $500,000 grant from the Midwest Disaster Recovery Relief Public Infrastructure Program and will be completed by early 2014. Read more on page 9 of the Illinois Business Journal.




Geotechnology Inc., America's Central Port South Harbor, Granite City (Illinois Business Journal, February 2013)

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Phase I of the new South Harbor project at America's Central Port, a Leadership Council member, is underway and is expected to be completed in May. The $11 million project in Granite City will involve  reshaping 130 acres along the Mississippi River to make room for the new harbor. Phase II of the project is set to begin over the summer. Once complete, the new harbor is expected to promote growth and create jobs. Leadership Council members Juneau Associates, Inc., a civil engineering firm, and general contractor Fred Weber, Inc., were mentioned in the Illinois Business Journal as being part of the project team. Read more on page 9 of the Illinois Business Journal.

Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen Inc., St. Joseph's Critical Care Hospital, Highland (Illinois Business Journal, February 2013)


Construction on the new $30 million St. Joseph's Critical Care Hospital in Highland is underway and is expected to be completed in May. Located at the intersection of Troxler Avenue and Illinois Rte. 160, the project will consist of a 67,599-square-foot, 25-bed hospital and 58,000-square-foot medical office building. Leadership Council members Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc., an engineering firm, and general contractor Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., are members of the project team. Read more on page 9 of the Illinois Business Journal.



In Other News



Want to be your own boss? County's low-interest loan program could help (Belleville News-Democrat, February 4, 2013)


St. Clair County has $1.1 million in funds to give to entrepreneurs as a loan. Provided by federal programs, the funds are designed to create jobs and business growth throughout the region. The loan program has provided several businesses, including Deli Star in Belleville, with the opportunity to expand over the last several years. However, in recent years, the County has had a difficult time finding eligible businesses that meet the federal criteria. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, in order to be eligible for the program, businesses must contribute 10 percent, receive 60 percent financing from other sources and offer more than half of any jobs created to job seekers of low-to-moderate income. Businesses like bars, restaurants, liquor stores, salvage yards, financial institutions, retail entities, beauty salons and trucking firms are not eligible to receive funds. The most any company can receive is $200,000. (Read More)



Contact Information

Ellen Krohne

 Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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