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In This Issue
IN THE NEWS

 
STAY UPDATED!
 
CHECK OUT ST. CHARLES
Luanne Cundiff, President and CEO of First State Bank of St. Charles, celebrates 150 year anniversary. Click here to listen as Luanne and Travis Wilson discuss the bank's history. 
 
DID YOU KNOW?
Details of all construction and road projects can be  found on our website. Click here to view.

FAST FACT
The Festival of the Little Hills will be held in Historic St. Charles on August 18-20, 2017. Click here for festival details.

QUICK LINKS


 
One of the stories in this edition of the newsletter outlines a public forum the City of St. Charles held to discuss potential redevelopment of the "West Clay Triangle."  While this is an area that is prime for redevelopment; we understand this will be a very extensive process that requires public input.
 
A cornerstone to my administration is the commitment to seek public input on a number of projects we have undertaken.  Earlier this year, we conducted our first ever "Public Works Roadshow" which gave citizens an opportunity to look at pending infrastructure projects and ask questions to staff. 
 
I also host a number of local citizens and businesses through my Wednesday morning breakfasts, small business breakfasts at the Chamber, Main Street meetings and a host of other outreach events.
 
This personal method of meeting face-to-face allows for open dialogue about key issues important to our community.  We may not always agree on projects, or the path taken to accomplish them, but every voice is allowed to be heard. 
 
I have also found the face-to-face meeting clarifies a large number of rumors and assumptions.  There have been numerous times where a citizen was upset or concerned because they were only aware of a small part of the story.  Again, there are times they are still upset after being fully informed, but most times people are more accepting of what the City is doing after they are given the facts about everything involved in the project.
 
Every day you see news stories from communities talking about their desire to be more transparent.  In St. Charles, we have always been transparent and will continue to be because that is the best way to lead.
 
Are you looking for a better place to grow your business in a community that is open to your ideas and suggestions?  Then consider yourself better informed about the assets of the  City of St. Charles. 
 
To find out more, contact our Economic Development Department at 636-949-3231 and become a part of our growing community. 
 
Thank you.
  Sally Sig photoshop  
Mayor Sally Faith
City Hosts Second Meeting on West Clay Triangle Redevelopment
Director David Leezer leads discussion of possible redevelopment

The City of St. Charles Economic Development Department recently hosted a large gathering to discuss the potential redevelopment for the "West Clay Triangle".  The triangle consists of approximately 44 acres of mixed use development surrounded by West Clay, Droste and Duchesne Streets.
 
"Despite our continued growth, St. Charles must look at some of our more dated areas," stated David Leezer, Director of Economic Development for the City.  "Given its proximity to Interstate 70 and the amount of traffic in the area, the West Clay Triangle is prime for redevelopment."
 
Attendees were given a brief overview of the area and presented with a couple of options to consider.  Leezer said the options were presented to start a conversation.
 
"The City did not walk into these meetings with a preconceived idea of what the area should or should not be.  Our goal was to gain input of the residents and businesses to help us design a plan for long term growth," he said.
 
This effort will take a great deal of time and work given the size of the triangle and the number of property owners.
 
The City's Economic Development Department will be taking comments for a short time period and then will start working on an RFP to engage a consultant on the process.


St. Charles School District Breaks Ground on Early Childhood Center
Rendering of new early childhood center (Credit: St. Charles School District)

In late June, the City of St. Charles School District broke ground on the Early Childhood Center, the flagship project of Proposition KIDS, a no tax rate increase bond issue passed by community voters this past April.
 
The Early Childhood Center will feature 16 early childhood and special education classrooms with attached bathrooms, multiple therapy rooms to serve the needs of all students, a large multipurpose room, a gross motor skills room and a large outdoor learning playground.
 
"This is an exciting moment for the City of St. Charles School District as we start a new chapter for our community," said Dr. Danielle Tormala, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum for the City of St. Charles School District. "It's a great way for our community members to come together and take part in the future of our city and district."
 
The building of the Early Childhood Center will provide approximately 450 spaces for students to enroll in the District and remove some of the burden placed upon the elementary schools currently housing pre-Kindergarten programs.
 
The celebration took place at the center's future home at 1301 Boone's Lick Road.


First Watch Opens at Streets of St. Charles

First Watch, a popular national restaurant that serves breakfast, brunch and lunch, opened its latest location at the Streets of St. Charles.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted by representatives of the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce.
 
The restaurant will occupy 3,339 square feet near the intersection of Interstate 70 and Fifth Street.  It adjoins Pieology and is immediately west of the soon-to-open Drury Plaza.
 
"First Watch is a perfect fit for Streets of St. Charles," stated Mayor Sally Faith.  "It addresses a need for a quality restaurant serving breakfast and brunch in the development."
 
Faith also stated it will also add to the variety of lunch providers available to visitors.
 
Company officials hosted a pre-opening event, raising money for First Responder, an organization who provides assistance to all first responders needing emotional and monetary assistance.


Featured Article - Making Economic Development Work in Uncertain Times
Steve Johnson, Missouri Partnership

Steve Johnson, President & CEO, Missouri Partnership

The final months of 2016 were bleak for those with an outlook on the economy. U.S. growth rates in early 2017 shrank to a five-year low of 1.6 percent , making 2015's and 2014's totals - 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively - look robust.
 
The most recent figures were alarming for most, but they can't really be considered surprising. If there's one thing business hates, it's uncertainty. A long-running theory holds that companies tend to keep their checkbooks pocketed during presidential election cycles. If there's any validity to that assertion, the recent election season would have been a case study on creating doubt.
 
We can hardly call the early months of 2017 business as usual, but that does not mean ongoing uncertainty will continue to compromise the U.S. economy. If you look beyond simple growth rates and focus on more refined indicators of growth and C-suite confidence, there is a lot to be optimistic about.
 
Put Economic Development Into Proper Perspective
The term "economic development" means different things to different people. Generally, anyone looking for your support will couch it in terms of economic development, but the actual advancing of a local economy's interests and basic boosterism aren't the same thing.
 
In my world, economic development is working with businesses to help them find solutions to their most pressing problems in a manner that benefits the surrounding community. The focus is on finding mutually beneficial solutions rather than funneling as much money as possible to a specific location.
 
Expansion is a data-driven process with a lot of inherent risk. This is compounded by the fact that many developers are working with brief timelines and might have already fallen behind schedule. There are serious consequences if the wrong site is chosen, but the compressed timelines at play make it essential that the right data are available to be analyzed in a way that minimizes risk as much as possible.
 
One of my primary goals as an economic developer is to reduce this risk as broadly as possible. We can do this by coordinating statewide with utilities, government agencies, transportation infrastructure providers, workforce developers, and more to deliver custom solutions to the companies we are working with.
 
The full range of these services is important to understand because it highlights the difference between robust growth and quality growth. Rather than taking steps to bring the maximum number of companies to the area as quickly as possible, we put in the work to ensure an expansion or relocation is the best fit for all. Companies begin development feeling confident that the location is right, that the local workforce can fill staffing needs, and that long-term value is attainable.
 
This conception of economic development might not always lead to skyrocketing growth rates year after year. But it does lead to stable, sustainable periods of growth that are more immune to uncertainty and disruption. That may not be the kind of development that boils the economic waters, but it's the kind that all business leaders should realistically aspire toward.

Applying the Lesson of Gradual Growth
Avoiding the urge to rush forward as quickly as possible is not easy for some companies and communities. Luckily, it does not require a complete shift in thinking; it simply requires decision makers to aim their focus, provision their resources, and focus on the long game. Here are some lessons I have learned about making economic development work for more stakeholders over a longer period:
 
Eliminate every risk. Think of unknowns as unacceptable. If you are staking your name and professional reputation to a particular plan, take every step necessary to explore and address the potential risks.
 
Until you have, you will either proceed forward recklessly or hold back because of unnecessary caution. Exploring unknowns and eliminating risks is not an easy thing to do, but it's the only way to put big plans in action and not saddle them with uncertainty.
 
Consider the community. It's easy for expansion plans to become an overwhelming array of facts and figures. This systematic approach to site selection obscures the fact that every expansion takes places in a real community filled with actual people.
 
Qualities of this community that may not be easy to express metrically will ultimately dictate the success or failure of the project. For reasons of expediency, companies are understandably eager to eliminate sites from consideration. Just be sure not to eliminate locations for reasons related to short-term cost cutting rather than long-term feasibility.
 
Expect high-level service. Economic development is a two-way street. Decision makers should feel confident the sites they choose will deliver as much value as the company will deliver in return.
 
Economic development professionals who make concerted efforts to answer questions, address concerns, make accommodations, and seek solutions make the best long-term partners. These economic development partners understand what it takes to form a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship, and they are willing to marshal every resource to enhance the partnership.
 
In a time of uncertainty, it's essential for enterprises to control what they can. Where, when, and how they choose to expand is one such decision. Rather than rushing to break ground, adopt a more measured understanding of economic development and take advantage of the long-term stability that foll ows. It's the informed way to approach the unknown.


Featured Property - 1520 S. Fifth Street at The Streets of St. Charles

 

Don't miss the chance to be a part of the most exciting mixed-use development in the entire St. Louis metropolitan region.  Now is the time to join other successful businesses at the Streets of St. Charles.
 
Keith Schneider and Joe Schneider of Cushman & Wakefield are offering premier office and retail space at 1520 South Fifth Street.  
 
Availability includes:
 
MAIN LEVEL RETAIL SPACE - Suite 107 - 4,851 SF
  • Sublease Rate: $19.50/SF NNN
  • Currently built-out as office with large lobby, 7 private offices, large open area, kitchen, and storage
  • Key card security system in place
  • Available Immediately
 
2nd FLOOR OFFICE/ EDUCATIONAL SPACE - Suite 200 - 28,937 SF
  • Sublease Rate: $15.50/SF NNN
  • Entire 2nd floor with extensive window lines
  • Currently built-out as high-quality educational and office space
  • Full commercial kitchens, computer labs, classrooms, student/faculty/staff lounges, private offices, etc. (see floor plan for details)
  • Available January 1, 2018
Key card security system and prominent signage opportunities are available for both spaces. Sublease term is through July 31, 2022.   Click here to view brochure.

Contact Keith Schneider at 314-520-2747 or Joe Schneider at 636-578-6069 and join in on the most electrifying atmosphere in the region.

Economic Development Department Submits AEDO Reaccreditation Application

The City's Economic Development Department has submitted its application to the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to gain re-accreditation for its AEDO status.
 
AEDO - Accredited Economic Development Organization - is an intense and full review of an economic development organization ranging from its finances and strategic plan to its marketing efforts and organizational structure.  The designation lasts for a period of three years before an agency must submit for re-accreditation.
 
"Getting the designation in 2014 was a great achievement for our department and City," said Economic Development Director David Leezer.  "It demonstrated our department was performing at the highest levels for success and growth."
 
The City of St. Charles is only one of four organizations in Missouri that has achieved the AEDO status and the only city in the state with the recognition.  Overall, only 57 organizations have earned AEDO status.
 
Leezer stated gaining the designation is an important achievement.
 
"Becoming an AEDO means you are considered one of the best of the best.  It says a lot about the way an organization manages its economic development program.  We are proud to be in rare company." 

Economic Development Attends Lakeside with the Locators Program

In early June, Travis Wilson, Economic Development Specialist for the City of Saint Charles attended the "Lakeside with the Locators" event held in Osage Beach, MO. The event allows economic developers to interact with site selection consultants. Organizers of the event include the Missouri Economic Development Council (MEDC) and Missouri Partnership .
 
"This event was a rare opportunity to meet with multiple site selectors from all over the country in a short amount of time," said Wilson.
 
Seven site consultants provided insights on the decision making process companies undertake to locate or relocate their business operations. In panel discussions and break-out sessions, the consultants provided a detailed understanding of how to "not get eliminated" from consideration.
 
Wilson added, "The best part was the ability to personally connect with the consultants in a small group setting."
 
The City of St. Charles Economic Development Department was able to attend this event through the support of the EDC Business and Community Partners.



Sincerely,

Your Economic Development Team  
David Leezer,   Travis Wilson and Susie King