FinalMasthead
May 20, 2019
 
Greetings,
 
While the summer heat begins making its way to the region this week, we're happy to report that the Metro East remains a hot spot for investment with activity in multiple sectors.
 
In recent weeks, the grand opening of Thirteen01 at Hartman Lakes unveiled the first apartments and clubhouse in the new $26 million residential development located in Shiloh, Ill. Nearly 100 leases have been signed to date in the 216 unit, nine-building complex. Earlier this month, in nearby Fairview Heights, the city celebrated the opening weekend of its new $21 million recreation and fitness complex, The Rec. Meanwhile, in Edwardsville, the city has approved a $10 million bond issue for Plummer Family Park.

The residential real estate market also continues to bloom with the number of homes sold increasing in all but one county this month over last month, according to the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois. Commercial activity also remains strong across the region.
 
 On the national scene, the region's entire port system has been making headlines in recent weeks, with various outlets highlighting the latest rankings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which reveal our port system remains the most efficient among all inland port systems in the U.S.
 
The strength of our ports, manufacturing, distribution and logistics facilities is something we should be excited about, based on information shared by Ron Starner, executive vice president of Site Selection Magazine , who was the featured speaker at the Leadership Council's May board meeting. He noted that transportation infrastructure, along with workforce skills and workforce development, are the top three most important criteria for site selectors scouting a location. He highlighted that Illinois currently ranks #3 on their list of the Top 10 States in Project Activity, with 444 projects.
 
When Starner was in Southwestern Illinois, at a welcome reception, Leadership Council chairs and members had the opportunity to share the region’s accomplishments on topics such as utility mapping, workforce, transportation, and infrastructure. Watch for more on Starner's visit to the region in an upcoming issue of Good NewsLink.
 
In the meantime, read on for more on all the other good news we’ve rounded up over the past few weeks. Have a great day!
 
 
Dr. Ronda Sauget
 
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director and CEO
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
104 Magnolia Drive, Ste B
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
618-692-974
Ron Starner, executive vice president of Site Selection Magazine , toured the Southwestern Illinois region May 2nd and 3rd. He was the featured speaker at the Leadership Council's May board meeting.

Site Selection magazine is a prominent international business publication
that covers corporate real estate and economic development sent to nearly 50,000
domestic and international high-profile site selectors and companies.
Contegra Construction Co. Completes First Apartments of $26 Million Thirteen01 at Hartman Lakes Apartments in Shiloh, IL
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 4/17/2019)
The grand opening of Thirteen01 at Hartman Lakes on April 11, 2019 unveiled the first apartments and the clubhouse in the new $26 million residential development in Shiloh, Ill. Edwardsville, Ill-based Contegra Construction Co. has completed three apartment buildings and developer Greenmount Retail Center, LLC. reports nearly 100 signed leases to date in the 216 unit, nine-building complex.  (Read More) 
 
Fairview to open new recreation complex, and you don’t have to be a resident to join
(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/1/2019)
Mark Kupsky couldn’t stop smiling. The Fairview Heights mayor was hobnobbing with charter members of The Rec, the city’s new $21 million recreation and fitness complex, at one of several VIP events being held in advance of its May 6 opening. Kupsky was able to brag about the fact that the 57,000-square-foot complex has been getting rave reviews for its appearance and amenities; that it is opening on schedule and within budget; and that the demand for membership packages has been higher than expected. (Read More)

H ome sales are blooming this spring in the Metro East
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/23/2019)
The number of homes sold increased in all but one county this month over last month, according to the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois. Home sales in St. Clair and Madison Counties saw a rise of 45.5 and 15.8 percent over February. Monroe, Clinton, and Jersey Counties had a large increase from last month with 90.5, 60.0, and 53.9 percent increases.  (Read More)

America's Central Port Celebrates 60th Anniversary
(Channel 9 Living St. Louis, 5/13/2019)
This year marks the 60th anniversary of America’s Central Port and its intimate connection with the Chain of Rocks Canal. Since its inception, the Port has continued to play its role as a key economic driver, promoting advanced manufacturing, job growth, and enhanced transportation for the region. Centrally located in Granite City, with access to four U.S. interstates, six Class-I railroads, 30 miles of rail, two multi-modal harbors, warehousing, and 100 acres of development-ready land, the port serves as an asset for manufacturers across the food, fiber, and energy supply chains. (Watch the story here)

Business and civic leaders discuss big ideas for downtown Alton
(Advantage News, 5/1/2019)
If someone told you that you could live in a community that strives to be the happiest and healthiest city on the Mississippi River, would you want to live there? Well, a group of big dreamers, thinkers and doers thinks so, and they have joined forces to reimagine the future of downtown Alton and “Transform the City of Alton into the Healthiest and Happiest City on the Mississippi River by 2029.” (Read More)

Cancer care unit will bring treatment under one roof next to HSHS St. Elizabeth’s campus
(Illinois Business Journal, 5/6/2019)
Construction is now underway on a new cancer care center near the campus of HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, Ill. Early next year, Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois (CCSI) will move from its current location in Swansea to join St. Elizabeth’s in the new building. Cancer Care Specialists have 20 locations in Central and Southern Illinois.  (Read More)

City OKs $10M in bonds for Plummer Family Park
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 5/7/2019)
EDWARDSVILLE — Edwardsville City Clerk Jeannie Wojcieszak led a public hearing Monday on the city’s $10 million bond issue for Plummer Family Park. She spoke to an audience of five people during the approximate 10-minute hearing. These bonds, combined with $950,000 in low-cost loans from Madison County, are funding the park’s initial construction. The park’s total cost is expected to be around $14.3 million. (Read More)

Supporters work to establish Metro East incubator
(Illinois Business Journal, May 2019 Issue)
Supporters are closing in on the launch of an incubator program to foster new business startups in the Metro East. Paul Ellis, the director of economic development for Fairview Heights, has spent the last several months pulling together various resources, enlisting the support of state and local governments, local banks, educators and business support groups. (Read More)
Congressman Mike Bost a member of the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee met with the Leadership Council Public Policy Committee on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. 
HUBZones open government up for business
(Illinois Business Journal, May 2019 Issue)
Businesses chasing after government contracts have a nation of opportunity in front of them, and they could have an inside edge if they’re part of the growing HUBZone network. The Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or HUBZone, program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.  (Read More)

Expanded apprenticeship partnership links groups in Southwestern Illinois
(Illinois Business Journal, May 2019 Issue)
A new, statewide apprenticeship model will involve several Southwestern Illinois entities in a plan to improve employment opportunities for residents.The model builds on a successful partnership in Chicago — the expanding Chicago Apprentice Network between City Colleges of Chicago, Aon and a growing list of other businesses.  (Read More)

St. Louis needs a strong Metro East, and Metro East needs a strong city
(Illinois Business Journal, May 2019 Issue)
My wife and I have traveled to Portland, Ore., many times over the years, and I am always struck at how vibrant its downtown is. There is more activity in Downtown Portland on a Sunday morning than in Downtown St. Louis on a Friday afternoon. Not only does Downtown Portland boast big name retail stores like Nordstrom, Luis Vuitton and Tiffany, it’s chock full of small local shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries museums and movie theaters. (Read More)

Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois says area commercial market remains strong
(Illinois Business Journal, May 2019)
Commercial real estate is everywhere — the local coffee shop, industrial park, downtown main street, even the office where you work. “There are many steps in buying and selling real estate, whether it is commercial or residential. That’s where a Realtor becomes priceless in a transaction,” says Deb Frazier, CEO of the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois, based in Belleville. (Read More)

Cities increasingly involved in real estate, Fairview Heights economic director says
(Illinois Business Journal, May 2019 Issue)
Communities have a lot of tools in their box when it comes to real estate development, and one of the most effective ones is thinking outside the box itself. So says Paul Ellis, the economic development director of the city of Fairview Heights. More than what is generally perceived, much of what economic developers do is real estate.  (Read More)

Ports and terminals in St. Louis region still tops in efficiency
(American Journal of Transportation, 4/25/2019)
The latest data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reveals the St. Louis Regional Ports held onto the top ranking as the most efficient inland port district in the nation in terms of tons moved per river mile during 2017, the most recent year for which final numbers are available. The St. Louis region’s barge industry handled 472,400 tons per mile. That was 1.6 times the efficiency of the Port of Pittsburgh, Pa., which ranked number 2 with 286,000 tons per mile. The port of Huntington-Tristate, West Virginia, ranked a distant number 3, moving 95,930 tons per river mile. (Read More)

Shipping Innovations Along Inland Waterways Present Opportunities for Developers
(Development Magazine, Spring 2019)
Container-on-vessel service along the Mississippi River and into the Midwest could increase demand for distribution facilities. While slow-moving barges laden with bulk cargo or containers are a familiar sight on the Mississippi River, they could soon be joined by a fleet of innovative ships providing new container-on-vessel (COV) service to the Midwest. As the new COV service picks up speed, it could provide opportunities for commercial real estate developers to build new logistics and distribution centers. (Read More)

Springfield, Illinois, Needs a Business-Climate Master Class
(Site Selection Magazine, March 2018)
Chicago has what lots of companies want, as our Top Metros feature explains. The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro won that designation again, for the third consecutive time, in its population tier for capital investment projects in 2017. It could easily win again with its global connectivity, top universities, mid-continent location, FinTech expertise, and world-class cultural amenities, to name a few assets. Heck, the Cubs even won the World Series two years ago. Millennials clearly want to be there, which is why we see so many formerly suburban operations moving back inside the Loop. ( Read More)
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