The City of Edwardsville received $30,935,343 in new business/commercial permits for the first 8 months of 2019. This compares to $17,307,150 in new business/commercial permits from new development and companies entering the Edwardsville market for the first time.
These numbers are not usual, said, Walter Williams-Economic Development Director. “Existing business growth should account for 60 to 80% of new job growth and new investment. Edwardsville provides an ideal location for business growth with our skilled workforce, robust transportation routes, and a stable community. Supporting business growth and development is a core economic development function that helps to diversify and strengthen our local economy.”
Arguably the biggest existing business growth belongs to Hershey. Hershey added nearly 300,000 square feet onto the existing warehouse distribution facility in Edwardsville. The 292,410-square-foot expansion increases the existing plant’s size from an original 1.1 million square feet to nearly 1.3 million square feet. The cost of this project is valued at $4,535,765.
Stillwater Senior Living is expanding from 46 living units and 40 employees to 80 units and add 32,000-square-feet by winter 2020. This addition will be built behind the current building. The new addition will cost $5 million and add at least 20 new employees.
Donco will pump $2,155,000 into the local economy by building on an addition to its existing facility. Once completed Donco will hire an additional 50 employees.
Amazon is spending $1,900,000 in the Lakeview Commerce Center location retrofitting this facility to handle large item distribution (pianos, televisions).
Target is leading the way in sustainable operations and recognizes that meeting their energy needs through solar is good for the community and environment. The Edwardsville Target is spending $705,224 in solar panel to reduce their energy costs It is anticipated that their rooftop solar project will generate enough energy to offset between 15 and 40 percent of a property’s energy needs.
Smaller, locally owned businesses like McDonald’s, Kettle River, Cassens, Joe Pizza, Culvers also made sizeable investments into their current business operations.
We recognize that business is at the heart of our success as a city. That’s why throughout the various city departments, we make every effort to make doing business in Edwardsville as attractive and trouble-free as possible. These new investments from existing businesses bode well for the future of the city’s employment opportunities and its continuing economic strength. The proof is in our success, said Hal Patton-Mayor City of Edwardsville.
EDWARDSVILLE – Something Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler is excited about is inheriting a bustling Gateway Commerce Center Corridor.
Prenzler is optimistic about the bright future for the Gateway Commerce area and this region’s business future.
“Businesses in the Gateway Commerce Center are providing many jobs,” Prenzler said. “There’s been a lot of success there, and I expect there will be more success.”
City of Edwardsville Economic and Community Development Director Walt Williams is beaming about the success of the Gateway area and Edwardsville’s overall business success in the downtown area.
“Amazon has added close to 1,200 jobs that we know of in the peak season now,” Williams said. “The jobs have good benefits and good pay.”
A large spec building for a national distribution center is underway. Williams said they know who the major player in the building will be, but it can’t be released yet. He said another part of the building will be leased by an additional company. The spec building is coming along quickly as the roof is being attached over some of the building and the rest being erected. The inside portions of the new structure will follow over the winter after the roof is completed.
With the large amount of success over the past few years, Williams said there is plenty of acreage available near Amazon for other distribution centers and businesses/industries to build and locate.
“There is no shortage of land out in the Gateway area,” he said. “There is more than 200 acres of land available.”
Williams said it had been previously projected that jobs in the Gateway area would double in five years but because of Amazon’s addition it is happening in about three years.
“This area is hot,” Williams said. “We definitely thought it would take longer to develop all these jobs.”
EDWARDSVILLE — A playground in one of the city’s largest parks may receive a facelift if the county awards a request for funding from the mayor.
Joe Glik Park, the 42-acre park on East Lake Drive in Edwardsville, features a large playground, 2,500 feet of trails, two fishing lakes, sand volleyball courts and open areas for play. The property was purchased with a donation from Joe Glik, patriarch of local retail chain Glik’s, in 1998, and two Illinois Department of Natural Resources Grants, according to the city’s website. It opened in 2003.
Since building the large playground, the city hasn’t “had it in the budget” to fix up the aging surface, said Katie Grable, assistant director of the department. The funds will be used to resurface the playground with a poured-in-place material made of recycled tires. Wood chips are currently used at the playground.
City council trustees approved on Tuesday night Mayor Hal Patton’s resolution to apply for Sustainability Grant Funds from Madison County Community Development. The action comes after a recent $1,000 donation from Glik that the mayor announced at the council meeting.
The mayor will request $15,000 in county funds, which the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has to match at 20 percent, Grable said. The parks department has been in the process during the last 10 years of resurfacing all the city’s playgrounds with the recycled tire material.
The material is eligible for the county’s sustainability grants because it’s recycled. Not only is it earth-friendly, but it cushions falls and makes playgrounds easier for accessibility.
Work under a small play structure in the park will begin April 11.
Edwardsville recently received a Park Enhancement Grant from the county to help the city complete its planned Spray and Play Park. The $133,155 grant will help fund splash features to be installed at the new splash park, located at the corner of South Main Street and Schwarz Street near downtown Edwardsville. The park is set to open this summer.
Reach reporter Kelsey Landis at 208-6460, Ext. 1396 or on Twitter @kelseylandis.