August 3, 2018

The past couple of weeks have been highlighted by great news on several fronts here in the Metro East.

Work has begun on the new 176-acre build-to-suit campus for World Wide Technology at Gateway Commerce Center in Edwardsville, one of the largest construction projects currently underway in the region. Nearby, ground is being cleared for the Edwardsville Town Center Planned Unit Development, which will bring new retail, apartments and more to the community. In Shiloh, a period of dramatic growth has resulted in more than $200 million in development in just the past few years alone.

The tourism industry continues to grow in our region, according to a recent report released by the Illinois Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism, and further evidence of that can be seen in the news that MidAmerica Airport welcomed its 100,000th passenger for 2018 this past week, three months earlier than it hit that milestone in 2017. We're also seeing positive activity in both home sales and home prices in most communities across the Metro East.

The 2018 Metro East Start-Up Challenge (MESC) is now underway, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and new business startups to capture cash prizes to advance their business ventures. The Leadership Council is product to support this annual challenge, now in its fifth year, and we look forward to announcing the winners at our November board meeting.

Read on for more on these and all the other good news occurring in Southwestern Illinois and have a great day!
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
TriStar Properties Begins $115 Million Build-to-Suit Campus for World Wide Technology
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 7/18/2018)
One of the largest construction projects in the St. Louis area is emerging from the ground with word that developer TriStar Properties has begun building a 176-acre build-to-suit campus for tenant World Wide Technology (WWT) at Gateway Commerce Center, a 2,300-acre logistics and bulk distribution park near Edwardsville, Ill. The completion value of the project, which is to yield two equally sized buildings totaling 2.025 million square feet plus parking for nearly 2,000 vehicles, is $115 million. (Read More)

Why quiet Shiloh is the Metro East's next boom town
(St. Louis Business Journal, 7/19/2018)
Thirty years ago, Shiloh, Illinois, was a small farm town with about 2,000 people with little other development.  Now the 11-square-mile town is booming with a population of 13,000. With the increase has come more than $200 million in development in just the past few years alone. Among the developments either delivered or announced in the past few years: (Read More)

Dirt is moved quickly for new Edwardsville Town Center retail development/apartments
(, 7/16/2018)
Bulldozing has been heavy at the new Edwardsville Town Center Planned Unit Development.
Saturday, two bulldozers were moving and leveling dirt for the area, which will consist of 78,796 square feet of retail space along with 184 market rate apartments within six buildings on a 17.54-acre parcel.  Recently, the Edwardsville City Council approved a resolution approved the Edwardsville Town Center Planned Unit Development (PUD) plan. (Read More)

Hospital, MetroRec Plex partner on therapy addition
(Illinois Business Journal, July 2018 Issue)
Young athletes and weekend warriors will both benefit from therapy services that will be available at a new building under construction in O'Fallon, Ill. The McKendree MetroRec Plex and developer S.I. Strategy LLC, have partnered with HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital on a new therapy building soon to be constructed on the northeast side of the MetroRec Plex, which is at U.S. 50 and Scott-Troy Road. (Read More)

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport welcomes 100,000th passenger for 2018
(, 7/30/2018)
Timothy Lay and his family pause for a photo with St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern after learning that Lay was the 100,000th passenger to emplane at MidAmerican Airport this year. Pictured from left to right are: Tim Cantwell, Airport Director; Jennifer Lay; Riley Lay; Chairman Mark Kern, St. Clair County; Avery Lay; Timothy Lay; Sheila Walster, ATS - BLV Customer Service Rep.; Cheryl Dunlop, TSA BLV Station Manager, and Amir Dizdarevic, ATS - BLV Station Manager. (Read More)

HSHS St. Elizabeth's honored for stroke-care achievements
(Illinois Business Journal, July 2018 Issue)
HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon, Ill., has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. (Read More)

After heavy rains, work on Old Troy Road progressing
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 7/13/2018)
GLEN CARBON - While heavy rains have delayed some work, Construction crews are making good progress on the Old Troy Road reconstruction project in Glen Carbon.  Glen Carbon Village Administrator Jamie Bowden said recent rains have backed up the project by a few days, but work is now underway and progress is being made.
"The west half of stage 1 (approximately 660 feet) of the project has been poured," Bowden said. "Next week construction crews will pour the eastern half of stage 1 and, weather permitting, stage 1 will be completed by the end of the month." (Read More)

40 acres of farmland near Belleville could be turned into a solar farm
(Belleville News-Democrat, 7/17/2018)
After years of putting off hopeful retail developers, Cathleen Lindauer finally found the type of development she feels is right for a portion of her land south of Belleville.  She plans to lease 40 acres of her 130 total acres of corn and soybean farmland to a solar energy company.  With soybean prices falling to their lowest levels in years, farming the sun instead of the land is becoming an increasingly attractive, and sometimes more profitable, use of property for some landowners.  (Read More)  

2018 Metro East Start-Up Challenge offers $20,000 in prizes
(Alton Telegraph, 7/17/2018)
EDWARDSVILLE - Entrepreneurs and new business startups are invited to compete in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's fifth annual regional business plan competition - the 2018 Metro East Start-Up Challenge (MESC).  The MESC is organized by the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SIUE and facilitated with the help of the SIUE School of Business. The purpose of the Challenge is to identify, encourage and support entrepreneurs and business startups across the SBDC's service area, including Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph Counties. (Read More)

Area tourism numbers grow in newly released report
(Illinois Business Journal, 7/20/2018)
The tourism industry grew significantly throughout Madison, Jersey, Calhoun and Macoupin counties in 2017 mirroring growth across the state of Illinois, according to early reports from the Illinois Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism.  In 2017, visitors to the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau region which includes Calhoun, Jersey, Madison and Macoupin Counties, spent $538.8 million, an increase of $30.3 million over 2016 or 6 percent. (Read More)

President Trump touts tariffs at Granite City steel plant
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/27/2018)
President Donald Trump touched down at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Thursday afternoon as part of a swing through the Midwest that included U.S. Steel's Granite City Works, where he lauded a positive impact from the tariffs he imposed on imported steel. Greeting him on the runway were Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, on the job for just under two months after the resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens, and newly appointed Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. It was Trump's third time visiting the St. Louis region over the last year. (Read More)

Metro East housing sales increase in latest figures
(Illinois Business Journal, 7/28/2018)
Homes are selling for higher prices at a faster pace, according to the latest housing data released for June 2018 by the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois.  The number of homes sold in much of the Metro East has increased again this month. Home sales in St. Clair increased by 7.43 percent in June, while Clinton and Monroe County saw a rise of 9.6 and 9.2 percent year to date 2018. Realtors in Jersey County reported a 16.5 percent increase in homes this June. According to Illinois REALTORS, while statewide home sales decreased 6.7 percent in June 2018, the Metro East held steady with 920 homes. (Read More)

Alton Fire Department awarded $227,273 grant
(Advantage News, 7/20/2018)
The Alton Fire Department has received a $227,273 grant through the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.  The department qualified for a regional project in which multiple organizations serving more than one local jurisdiction will benefit directly from the activities requested with grant funds. A post on the Lewis and Clark Community College Facebook page states that the funding will be used for mobile training facility for the college's Fire Science program. (Read More)

Ducks Unlimited, Phillips 66 to improve second largest natural lake in Illinois
(, 7/20/2018)
MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Phillips 66 announced a partnership to enhance Horseshoe Lake State Park, an urban oasis vital to outdoors enthusiasts and a diversity of wildlife.  Ducks Unlimited will use a $200,000 commitment from Phillips 66, a longtime DU supporter, to enhance and restore up to 250 acres of wetland habitat. The 3,000-acre state park is in Madison County and is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It encompasses Horseshoe Lake, a remnant Mississippi River oxbow and the second largest natural lake in Illinois. (Read More)

Rauner pays personal visit to Collinsville Fire Department to distribute $26,000 safety grant
(, 7/18/2018)
COLLINSVILLE - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner visited the Collinsville Fire Department on Tuesday and officially presented one of $2.2 Million Small Equipment Awards to 100 fire departments across the state. The Collinsville Fire Department said the grant will be used for vital safety gear. The fire department said this vital safety gear protects firefighters against thermal burns as well as gasses, vapors, and particulates found in smoke from modern furnishings and construction materials. (Read More)