Tag: new development

Industrial Bulk Distribution Development Momentum Continues, Fueled by E-Commerce

By Kerry Smith, Editor – St. Louis Construction News & Review Magazine

Speculative industrial warehouse and distribution construction remains alive and well across the St. Louis MSA, as evidenced by the 769,000-square-foot “Building 5” in Lakeview Commerce Center that is anticipated to reach completion this summer.

Kadean Construction of Fenton is building Building 5, located in the 750-acre bulk distribution park in Edwardsville and Panattoni Development is the owner-developer. Mike Eveler, Kadean’s president, said the construction project includes 80 loading docks with clearing heights of 36 feet.

“This is the second building we’ve built recently at Lakeview Commerce Center,” Eveler said. “In addition to constructing Building 5, we built its sister building, Building 4, which is 769,000 square feet and is occupied entirely by Amazon.”

Although Building 4 was completed in 2017, according to Eveler, Amazon is already performing technology upgrades to keep pace with the latest advances in fulfillment/distribution technology.

“In 2018 they’ve (Amazon) invested approximately $23 million worth of tenant improvement work (in Building 4) as well as heavy and electrical distribution,” he said. “Much of this investment has been related to robotics within the facility to hold the product and move it around.”

As the dynamics of e-commerce order fulfillment improve nearly as quickly as consumer order-and-delivery expectations do, serving these industrial clients is also a dynamic process, according to the Kadean exec. “About six weeks ago, Amazon contacted us to request additional work specific to fulfillment robotics,” Eveler said. “We’re already tearing out some of what we’ve built (internally) to help them upgrade. “Just their robotics system upgrades represent about $1 million worth of work,” he added.

Kadean Construction works in tandem with Panattoni Development in other industrial parks across the St. Louis MSA such as Aviator Park in Hazelwood – the 165-acre park on the site of the former Ford Motor Co. manufacturing plant at Lindbergh and Interstate 270. Mark Branstetter, partner at Panattoni, said his firm has developed approximately 1.7 million square feet in Aviator and still have equally that much capacity for future development.

“We are about halfway through developing Aviator,” Branstetter said. “It’s interesting…although Lakeview and Aviator are relatively proximate – some 12 miles from each other – their respective user groups are markedly different. Lakeview in Edwardsville attracts the larger, regional distribution centers whereas Aviator in Hazelwood attracts more local infill.”

Although e-commerce is a prominent driver of bulk warehouse and fulfillment development nationally and regionally, Branstetter said e-commerce isn’t the only factor propelling the construction of these types of buildings. “A big topic that gets published is indeed e-commerce,” he said. “It’s certainly a big trend, but it’s not the sum total of what’s driving development in this industry sector. E-commerce is actually a very late trend, just in the last decade or so. Everyone is trying to optimize their supply chain, be it location or size orientation. But once they’ve optimized these locations across the country, companies are then working on optimizing the inner workings of their processes, again with the consumer at the forefront.”

Reprinted with permission from St. Louis Construction News & Review Magazine

Contegra Construction Co. Building Student Housing Complex to Serve Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Reprint from Construction Forum St. Louis

The newest off-campus student housing development to serve Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) is emerging from the ground. General contractor Contegra Construction Co. broke ground on the student housing project called The Reserve in November 2017. The completion is slated for the summer of 2019. The 486-bed housing complex is being developed by Cleveland-based Richland Residential and will be comprised of nine buildings hosting two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom units.

Located on a 15-acre site, The Reserve will provide additional housing options to meet growing demands for off-campus living in close proximity to SIUE. It is located at the New Poag Road entry to the campus.

The wood frame construction will be clad with brick and siding. Apartment units will feature full kitchens, washers and dryers and ample living spaces.

The development will feature a clubhouse with a number of amenities, including a workout room, study area, lounge/gaming room and leasing offices. Adjacent to the club house will be a pool and separate bath house

Based in Edwardsville, Ill., Contegra is one of the St. Louis area’s largest general contractors and serves a national customer base that includes industrial, institutional, municipal, multi-family, office and retail projects. Its capabilities include building developer- and owner-driven projects and site development.

Edwardsville City Council approves resolution for Whispering Heights development

by Steven Spencer

Council approves Montclaire Business District Special sales tax will be used for upgrades

The Montclaire Shopping Center will receive a major overhaul in the near future.  

Redevelopment within the Montclaire Business District was approved with a 5-2 vote at last week’s Edwardsville City Council meeting.

Aldermen Barb Stamer, Tom Butts, Art Risavy, Jeanette Mallon and Will Krause were in favor of the motion; aldermen Craig Louer and Janet Stack were opposed.

The approved resolution authorizes an agreement for the city to encourage redevelopment and renovations in the district, anticipating a cost of $2.2 million. The improvements will include new facades on buildings, rotomill and resurfacing of the parking lot, retaining wall by the Rapid Lube building, rear screening, landscaping, lighting upgrades and storm water drainage improvements.

The developer, Jones Edwardsville Properties, has requested reimbursement from the city in the amount of $1,393,566 after the improvements have been made.

As discussion ensued, Louer said he was opposed to the resolution, as he was concerned about surrounding neighbors and taxpayers.

“If we were to do it, which I hope we don’t, I’d like to see a commitment to all parts of that project. With regard to the estimated costs…what we’re doing is taxing the people to shop there; we’re taxing our citizens to make improvements to private property. In some instances, I think I can justify it in my mind and those instances are instances where we’re asking a developer to go over and above what he would normally have to do in order to provide some extra protection or some amenities for our neighbors — one of those is a wall,” Louer said. “When you get to the façade for buildings, I look at those as investments that an owner should make on his own property. I want higher rent for a house I own, I clean it up and I get higher rent for it…I think it’s inappropriate for us to tax citizens to support the improvements on private property. I think that’s the owner’s responsibility.”

The city has no direct financial obligation with the developer and the costs that will be reimbursed must be eligible through the collection of business district taxes. Taxpayers who shop at the facility will also face a 1 percent Business District Tax.

“I can’t support it,” Louer said. “This is $1.3 million that we are going to tax our citizens and we are going to use approximately $600,000 of to improve private property. As I’ve said before, I’d be willing to vote for this if we limited the cost to the things that I think we’re asking for over and above.”

Butts was in favor of the motion and said he believes this is the best way to get the needed improvements completed.

“I think this is our best hope to get that blighted area. To the question of would we allow it for somebody else who wanted to come in and form a business district? I think we’d give it the same consideration we gave this – absolutely. We did it for Dierbergs,” Butts said. “This does not cost the city anything; it does cost our taxpayers who shop there an additional 1 percent. We had the same thing at Dierbergs. Dierbergs has been a huge success. If we can increase more sales, that’s more sales tax that the city gets as well.”

The additional Business District Tax, according to Butts, will not have a significant impact on the taxpayers who utilize the district.

“All the risk is on the developer. If he doesn’t have sales, if he doesn’t have tenants, if he doesn’t have people going to the cash register, he does not get his money back. I think it is not corporate welfare; I do not think we are putting a burden on our citizens. If they don’t want to shop there, they don’t have to shop there,” he said.

Discussion came to a close and the resolution passed.

For more information about the Montclaire Business District, visit the city’s website at cityofedwardsville.com.

Starbucks and TownePlace Suites PUD moves forward

Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:36 am | Updated: 9:50 am, Thu Sep 1, 2016.

  • Posted on Aug 31, 2016

The TownePlace Suites and Starbucks café Planned Unit Development plan was passed on to the Administrative and Community Services Committee with a recommendation for approval by the Public Services Committee at Tuesday’s meeting in Edwardsville. The 2-acre property is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of IL Route 157 and Center Grove Road.

The proposal suggests there should be an all-access entrance to Starbucks only on Plummer Drive. However, the main point of discussion and concern was in regards to the second entrance, which would consist of a right-in/right-out entrance on Center Grove Road.

 Construction for the project will take place at different times. If approved, Director of Public Works Eric Williams said Starbucks’ construction will be almost immediate. However, IDOT is still concerned with the right-in/right-out entrance and the hotel construction won’t begin until next year.

“Starbucks would potentially be built first and operational; possibly breaking ground this fall, operational by spring. That would be built with any access problems on Center Grove Road; access only onto Plummer Drive. Construction on the hotel would start later, probably first or second quarter of ’17 and probably a year, give or take. You’d be looking at first quarter of ’18 before the hotel would be complete,” Williams said. “That will allow us time to work with the state on the right-in/right-out issue. Right-out, IDOT has indicated they have no issue with; no concerns with a right-out only. Exiting the site, right-in is what we’re still having to review with their geometrics, and it’s going to take us a good six months to a year to get this issue worked out. Working through that process, we will work with the construction schedule that the developer has proposed. We have a couple of ideas that we are trying to work through with the state. We’re not far enough yet.”

As proposed, the right-in/right-out access is only permitted as long as vehicles are prohibited from making an immediate right turn into the Starbucks complex after turning off of Center Grove Road. If the entrance is approved, the developer will install a permanent curb extension that will prevent right-hand turns. Instead, vehicles are expected to go clock-wise around the hotel building to access the drive-thru lane that is located between both buildings, if entering from the right-in/right-out entrance.

Williams said there are two primary concerns IDOT has in regards to the right-in portion of the entrance.

“There was two concerns with the right-in, one being the right-in within a right turn lane and the other issue was concern with stacking around the que to the order kiosk — if the right-in movement starts stacking around and backing up onto Center Grove Road. So that’s one of the things we talked with the developer about is trying to configure that intersection,” Williams said.

Mayor Hal Patton said he agrees with the proposed entrances and believes congestion won’t be a bigger issue than it is now.

“Nobody lives closer to that particular spot than I do and I’ll tell you that it’s the congestion itself that slows traffic down, but I like the idea of having a second entrance and exit. We’ve always talked about subdivisions of certain sizes, having an accident or having a blockage at the one end, and how are you going to get in there, how are you going to get an ambulance through there? I think it makes sense to have that. Hotel visitors, I honestly don’t even know that the Holiday Inn Express is back there. They’re trickling out at different times and it doesn’t seem to be a congestion issue,” Patton said.

As the PUD currently stands and if it is approved by City Council, the project will move forward with the right-in/right-out entrance, unless instructed otherwise not to do so by IDOT. The project site will feature five-foot wide sidewalks that will be located on the north side of Center Grove Road and the west side of Plummer Drive. There will also be an extension along the fence by the common lot line shared with the Edwardsville High School site. The fence will direct pedestrians from the high school to the sidewalks.

Following approval by Council, the right-in/right-out entrance won’t be constructed until the hotel lot begins next year. For the time being, once the Starbucks is built, there will be an all-access entrance that will be exercised.

With all committee members in approval, the motion carried and will be discussed during Thursday’s ACS meeting. If approved, it will be moved to Tuesday’s City Council meeting for final approval.

After 13 years, I-55 growth plan nears completion

Vehicles traverse Interstate 55 in Edwardsville. This view looks south from the Illinois Route 143 overpass. (Illinois Business Journal photo)

Vehicles traverse Interstate 55 in Edwardsville. This view looks south from the Illinois Route 143 overpass.
(Illinois Business Journal photo)

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I-55 District Map (10-30-15)

The I-55 Corridor Development Code, a regulatory and zoning code that aims to quietly coordinate the growth of several interstate-blessed communities, but a source of its own growing pains, is finally coming to the end of one road — and the beginning of another.

After 13, sometimes tumultuous years, the city of Edwardsville this summer is likely to sign off on documents that broadly link the interests of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Troy and Madison County, at least as far as they pertain to development along Interstate 55, the north-south axis that connects them all.

Historically, Glen Carbon and Edwardsville have grown greatly at their core. Now, the I-55 Development Code is intended to address the next several years of growth from the core to the east, in the direction of the interstate.

The planning began in 2003, and only a handful of people intimately involved with the process then are still involved at any level today. Edwardsville City Administrator Tim Harr was there at the beginning but as an employee of the Public Works Department. City Planner Scott Hanson took on much of the Corridor 55 planning when he arrived in 2009.

“The city was interested in taking a different approach (to growth) and in partnering with Glen Carbon and the county,” Hanson said. One of the biggest reasons was the expected growth at I-55 and Illinois Route 143.

That prediction, of course, is coming true. Route 143 represents one of the great jumping off points for growth. Two businesses have located headquarters at the interchange — Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits and Scott Credit Union — and a third, Prairie Farms, has committed to do the same thing.

But the I-55 Development Code is not just the interstate. It represents the potential for growth for miles around the 143 interchange.

How the planning began

Harr remembers the early conversations centering around infrastructure, particularly getting water lines extended to the east. At the time, the city was getting petitions for small subdivisions, “mom and pop properties 20 acres and fewer,” he said.
Back then, there also seemed a sense of urgency because Edwardsville was building more than a hundred homes a year.
“We looked like we were going to eat up that corridor pretty quickly,” Harr recalled.

Harr said the city approached Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Alliance, a now-disbanded development agency, about getting community officials together to talk about mutual planning needs and common standards.

Former SIUE planner Bob Koepke and Richard Madison, a city alderman, both now deceased, were very active early on. So was Joe Parente, then a county planner and now the county’s director of administration.

“We started developing these little action teams. Some folks focused on infrastructure, some focused on business, some on education, and on and on. We’d meet individually and then collectively,” Harr said.

In 2004, the municipalities hired HOK Consultants through a grant from the state of Illinois to do some long-term planning. By 2006, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon and the county all adopted Phase 1 of the HOK plan as part of their official comprehensive plans. However, Phase 1 carried with it a “60-year build-out,” which was arguably more than planners were comfortable sticking with.

“It was a big area. It went all the way to Silver Creek (near Marine) on the east,” Hanson said.
H3 Studio, a consultant firm from St. Louis, was then hired as a Phase 2 consultant. That agency thought it was best to narrow the scope.
“It became more of a 15- to 20-year build-out and narrowed in around that I-55/Marine Road (Route 143) interchange,” Hanson said. “Even now, though, it’s still a 15-square-mile buildable area. It’s still a big area.”

Controversy along the way

Early public meetings about the I-55 plan raised a ruckus among landowners concerned over their property rights.
“The first few weren’t fun — there was a lot of screaming and yelling,” said Frank Miles, who is currently Madison County Community Development administrator but was the county planning director at the time.

“There was a lot of suspicion, a lot of concerns, from the folks who lived out there. They didn’t live in Edwardsville, they lived in the county,” Miles said. “I set about setting up a series of meetings to try to help explain that (a plan for growth) wasn’t a bad thing. After a period of time we were able to convince folks that they needed a plan, and not just hodge-podge development. It’s better to have organization.

The Madison County Planning and Development Department has been the grant administrator for the planning all along the way.
Hanson said many of the original opponents were from the Pin Oak area outside Edwardsville.
“Their main concern was protecting large farms that had been in their families for generations,” he said. They believed the corridor push would take away their ownership rights or their livelihoods.

The plan — and the maps that went along with it — have greatly changed through the years. Even, now, the latest version of the map doesn’t show a few of the properties that have been dropped or added. Planners decided to concentrate less on established subdivisions and more on areas not yet developed.

Addressing the complaints

Planning in the I-55 Corridor area was moving swiftly until the recession struck and homebuilding dwindled, giving planners time to smooth out some of the issues, Hanson said. Community leaders spent about three years refining the plan. Some changes were made to appease complaints.

“A previous version of the plan showed a corporate campus and a possible interchange at Goshen Road or at Mick Road (both east-west routes). But given the (economic) state that Illinois is in and the proximity of (other interchanges) the possibility of getting another interchange in the next 20 years is unlikely. Maybe beyond that,” Hanson said. “So, for us to show that on a map as a corporate campus — a Monsanto-type, large pastoral place for research — is probably not reasonable without an interchange. And the interchange is not reasonable either. So rather than tell people this is commercial property and you can’t do anything with it, we said for this phase we’ll just take it out.

“When we did that, and showed it as rural residential on the east side of 55 and neighborhood residential on the west side, they were pleased.”
At least that was the reaction judging from the last public meetings, held in 2013 and 2014 at Liberty Middle School in Edwardsville. Hundreds of people attended to review the outcomes of a 2010 public meeting in which they had taken a “visual preference survey” regarding various types of growth.

Some of their choices had been as simple as picking between duck ponds vs. decorative ponds with fountains. But there were dozens of such choices.
H3 also provided samples of relative regulatory codes, and the towns moved forward from there. In 2015, communities began the official adoption process.

Adoption process begins

“Our planning commission met about this time last year. By August last year they recommended it be forwarded to council. Glen Carbon was closely following behind. They adopted the plan in December/January. The county is waiting to see what we’re going to do, then they’ll follow suit,” Hanson said.

Edwardsville City Council members have been wrestling with it in recent weeks and should be able to complete it before summer’s end, he said.
City Administrator Harr said one of the primary differences between Edwardsville and Glen Carbon, regarding the corridor, is progress.
“We’ve actually started development in that corridor,” Harr said. “I don’t think Glen Carbon really has; it’s still agricultural. Because we’ve already started development, we’ve got a better vision of how it’s going to turn out.”

For Edwardsville, some of the next development will be west of the interstate. Anderson Hospital has purchased land for physicians’ office construction across from the YMCA Meyer Center on Goshen Road. And a large sports park is now envisioned at Ridgeview and Goshen roads. A $300,000 grant toward land acquisition for the park was announced at the end of May.

Many hundreds of dwellings could still be built in the I-55 Corridor area of Edwardsville, they said, particularly in what they call the Town Center, a mixed-use area dominated by the Goshen Road and Ridgeview intersection. Having an I-55 interchange in that area would assist the development, both residential and commercial, but that is a long-term choice of the Illinois Department of Transportation. Edwardsville is keeping that option on its comprehensive plan.

“The reality is that decision is IDOT’s and they won’t make that decision until there is a specific need,” Harr said.
“Controlled development” is at the core of everything that’s being done, Harr said.
The city has been looking at subdivision covenants and restrictions for subdivisions built in the last 10 years to get a feel for standards that will be used going forward, from infrastructure to architecture. The idea is to have a plan acceptable to both the City Council and builders.

“We’ve been a little more hesitant to pass the plan without digging a lot more deeply into some of the areas,” Harr said. Obviously we’ve had a lot more inquiry from the major property owners out there, as to how they want to see things developed.”
Hanson describes the plan as a unique approach that uses what he calls a “form base code.” Traditional zoning separates residential and commercial zoning. Form base code cares less about uses of property and more what properties look like. It mixes uses together. Hanson used the example of downtown Edwardsville where there is residential upstairs and commercial down.

With the I-55 Corridor, the challenge has been educating property owners about the possibilities. Along the way, the city has clarified its message.
Harr said: “At some point when you decide to sell your land to a developer, this is how the city would like to see it developed.” On the other hand, “if you want to farm it for another 50 years, do what you need to do.”

The regional development approach is kind of unique. It’s not often that communities chase after common development standards. Hanson and Harr gives a lot of credit to Madison County for leading this charge. Matt Brandmeyer has served as the county planning director for the past six years since Miles’ departure from that position in early 2010. During this time, Brandmeyer has served as point-man on many fronts to ensure the often challenging planning process on issues diverse as transportation and stormwater control kept moving forward.

“While the task of coordinating the perspectives of residents, land owners, and builders, and officials with three local governments to make sure all interested parties are heard is what ‘planners’ do, it’s still often a monumental effort,” Hanson said. “Edwardsville and Glen Carbon had important planning roles too, but without the leadership from the county through Mr. Brandmeyer to get us to this point, I can honestly say there would not be an I-55 plan or code.”

H3, the planning company that handled Phase 2, did a lot to involve the community, Miles said, by pointing out that proper planning would also protect woodlands and water quality.
“It’s a tremendous watershed. And the longest contiguous hardwood forest is in that Silver Creek area. Song birds that come from South America fly there, and it’s the only place in the United States where that occurs,” Miles said.

Troy Mayor Al Adomite has been much more involved in the I-55 Corridor than his predecessor, even though the planning area is just on the periphery of the city.

The planning area extends to Troy in the narrow area of I-55 between Interstate 70 and Maple Grove Road.
Adomite said in recent years Troy has established or re-established boundaries with Maryville and Glen Carbon because the towns had grown so close to each other.

Troy doesn’t have much land actually in the corridor but will benefit from anything that goes on nearby.
“I think the more buildings that get built — like the Prairie Farms at 143 — it’s all good for Troy,” he said. “We’re going to provide services, restaurants, that sort of thing, that are a quick hop on, hop off the interstate, a couple of miles south.