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.
By Kerry Smith, Editor – St. Louis Construction News & Review Magazine
As Gateway Commerce Center celebrates the 20th anniversary of the arrival of its very first warehouse-distribution tenant, developers of the 2,300-acre bulk distribution park in Madison County, IL are reflecting back on its genesis, its progress and its unique space in the market.
April 2018 officially marks two decades from the park’s official opening.
TriStar Companies is the park’s developer and has been since day one. The idea for creating the large-scale development emerged from the mind of Rod Thomas, TriStar chairman, according to Michael Towerman, the company’s president.
“This was absolutely Rod Thomas’ vision from the beginning,” Towerman said. “We first began assembling the land in September 1996. The first transaction was signed in April1997, and that was the Dial (Corp.) lease. Dial was our first tenant at the park and opened in April 1998. Dial remains with us today.”
With regard to sheer capacity, Towerman says Gateway Commerce Center has built 15.25 million square feet of development with the capability to facilitate a build-out of approximately eight million more square feet. “Our tenant size usually ranges from 350,000 square feet on the low side to 750,000 square feet on the high side, though we have buildings as large as 1.3 million square feet,” he said. “We also have some smaller capacity available.”
Putting Gateway Commerce Center in context with the St. Louis MSA’s various offerings in terms of bulk distribution sites, Towerman says in 2017 approximately four million square feet of new bulk warehouse space was built. “If we (Gateway) got 100 percent of the market, we’d be full in two years, but that’s not going to happen. As long as we don’t get an economic downturn, our submarket will continue to attract about 500,000 square feet to 750,000 square feet per year, maybe a little bit more. Some readers may think I’m a bit pessimistic, but (former Federal Reserve Chairman) Alan Greenspan said a few years ago that we’re living in a period of ‘irrational exuberance.’ That’s kind of how I feel now about where we are. The bell doesn’t go off before a downturn. It takes eight months to develop an industrial building, and two to three years to build and lease an apartment complex. If you started (construction) when you thought the market was pretty good, it’s almost like, ‘Gee, I think I built one or two too many’ at some point. That’s the speculative nature of what we do,” he added.
Amazon’s ambitious development of fulfillment centers in Gateway Commerce Center and elsewhere is an anomaly rather than the norm, according to Towerman.
“While e-commerce has driven a lot of construction and leasing over the last four years, if you take Amazon out of the St. Louis market, you take out 1.5 million square feet to 1.9 million square feet – or about 2.75 million square feet of absorption – out of the equation,” he said. “If you subtract that number out of what has been built in St. Louis over the last couple of years, you’d see a very different picture.”
One commercial construction company that has and is building a significant amount of product in Gateway Commerce Center is Edwardsville-based Contegra Construction. The firm has built more than 4.8 million square feet in Gateway Commerce Center, and by the close of 2019, the contractor will have completed 6.8 million square feet in the park. Contegra President Eric Gowin says his company has built four bulk distribution projects in a row within Gateway Commerce Center and is the shell building contractor for two million-square-foot buildings that are currently under construction within Gateway for World Wide Technology, both of which will be completed next year.
“We’ve been building and leasing these projects one at a time for TriStar,” Gowin said. “We adjust each for the site and according to marketplace demand at the time. Each is similar in size and scope. We’ve been replicating what’s been working in meeting the demand.”
Towerman says there’s no doubt that e-commerce is the key driver. A still-expanding U.S. population of consumers buying online and expecting their goods to be delivered more quickly that ever before adds up to the certainty of a flourishing demand for warehouse space well into the future, he added.
“Another factor is aging warehousing stock,” Towerman said. “In the Northeast, there’s an old supply of warehouse space,” said Towerman. “The average age of warehouse facilities in the Northeast is much older than in the Southwest or Midwest. Thus, those older facilities don’t work as well. They don’t offer the specifications necessary for e-commerce such as 36-foot ceiling clearance heights, compared to 28-foot heights which had previously been the norm.” The older buildings in the Northeast, built in the mid-1990s, have ceiling heights ranging from as low as 15 feet to 22 feet, he said.
Towerman references a study performed in September 2016 by real estate logistics expert Prologis that reveals online retailers need approximately 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space per every one billion dollars of online sales – three times the distribution center space required for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. According to Prologis’ research, there are four unique business characteristics of online order fulfillment that are driving this space requirement: extensive product variety, greater inventory levels, larger outbound shipping space requirements and increased reverse logistics (also known as process returns).
“We (Gateway Commerce Center) will continue to see an increase in warehouse demand until we hit a saturation point,” Towerman said. “I think as long as there are no macroeconomic eruptions – such as wars and trade wars – I think we’ll see continued expansion in industrial bulk distribution warehouse development. We’re not a port town, we’re not Atlanta or L.A., but we get our share of development. We have our place in the supply chain but we’ll never see the peaks and valleys.”
According to the State of Illinois’ Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Gateway Commerce Center’s enterprise zone – an economic incentive sanctioned by the state, Madison County and local municipalities that offers companies to apply for property tax abatement, sales tax exemption and more as an incentive to locate, expand or retain their presence in the park – is one of the most successful enterprise zones in the state, as measured by total number of jobs created and real estate investment.
Reprinted with permission from St. Louis Construction News & Review Magazine
EDWARDSVILLE – Pangea Development Co. has announced it has secured a master developer for its newest endeavor, a 95-acre mixed-use commercial development to be located in Edwardsville at the southwest corner of the Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 143 interchange.
The project, named Pin Oak Plaza, will be a joint partnership between C.W. Byron Properties, L.L.C. and Plocher Construction Co., which will own, manage and perform the site development work. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.
As currently planned, Pin Oak Plaza will combine a light industrial and logistics business park component with an attractive mixed-use commercial frontage plaza that will include a hotel, one or more restaurants and related amenities.
The development will contain a dedicated entry off Illinois Route 143, tree-lined streets, a 2-acre lake and green space buffers. Pin Oak Plaza will be a major facilitator of new commercial business on the east side of the city, Sean Goding, president of Pangea Development, said.
In addition, the development will result in new infrastructure improvements in that area and will serve as a connector from Route 143 to the planned Plummer Family Sports Park, a 78-acre state-of-the-art sports park that will be located adjacent to Pin Oak Plaza and include multiple soccer, baseball and softball fields.
“Pin Oak Plaza is a good example of a project that balances the city of Edwardsville’s vision and goals contained in the I-55 Corridor Plan as well as the evolving needs of commercial end users by providing a centrally located site with attractive economic incentives, a high traffic count and ready access to multiple forms of intermodal transport,” said Goding. “One of the primary development goals is to help the city continue to develop its role as a corporate relocation destination while creating interstate travel-related amenities and new jobs, all while highlighting the role of Southern Illinois as the logistics and transport center of our nation.”
“We look forward to working with Plocher Construction, Inc. and attorney Christopher W. Byron from the Edwardsville law firm of Byron Carlson Petri & Kalb, LLC. Mr. Byron has extensive experience in assisting clients in real estate development ventures. Additionally, Scott Plocher, president of Plocher Construction Inc. is the president of one of the area’s fastest-growing regional construction companies that focuses on industrial, commercial, and utility construction,” said Goding.
Pangea Development, LLC was formed in 2005 as a land investment, development and management company specializing in the development of ecologically sensitive and LEED certified commercial and residential real estate projects.
The municipality of Edwardsville was aware of Pangea’s efforts to develop the site and expects its involvement to pick up with this announcement, Economic Development Director Walt Williams said. Pangea has requested that the land be included in the area’s enterprise zone, he said.
Pangea has offices in Mascoutah and Hazelwood, Mo.
— From the Illinois Business Journal
EDWARDSVILLE – Spirits were high Tuesday morning at the Edwardsville 2017 Business Forecast Breakfast at Wildey Theatre, reflecting on a sensational year in 2016 and a strong outlook ahead for this year.
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton started the meeting off on positive note about how 2016 was an incredible year for the city of Edwardsville and the area. Patton was followed by Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler and Cathy Hamilton of BARBERMurphy Group, the moderator.
Madison County Community Development Director Kristen Poshard provided insight to the 2017 prospects. Dr. Timothy Sullivan of SIUE then gave national and local economic outlook, Mike Hurley, of Balke Brown Transwestern did a presentation on the market analysis for Class A Office Space Outlook in Edwardsville. A Realtors’ Roundtable followed with questions and answers was positioned at the end of the breakfast.
Edwardsville Economic/Community Development Director Walt Williams organized the Business Forecast and was commended by Mayor Patton and the others for those efforts.
“We had a record year of job creation and investment in Downtown Edwardsville,” Patton said reflecting on 2016. “Business is trending up and we made a lot of progress with infrastructure improvements.”
Patton discussed the two spec buildings that were created in the Gateway Commerce Center, one housing the new Amazon distribution business. The mayor also mentioned First to the Finish and Prairie Farms locating headquarters in Edwardsville. He then explained other large projects – the new SIUE Fire Station construction, the new Public Safety Building on Main Street in Edwardsville and Madison County Mutual Insurance Company occupying two floors of the new Park Plaza in Downtown Edwardsville.
Patton said the various construction projects created thousands of jobs and over 1,300 permanent jobs, valued at $154 million to Edwardsville.
Poshard said the Gateway Commerce Center area is one of the hottest places to do business throughout the entire region and country. She said creating the logistics enterprise zone has generated a new tax base with transportation jobs and the future looks bright there and throughout Madison County with a changing workforce.
Patton’s final words summed up his prime mission since becoming mayor: “Edwardsville is a place where you can live, work and play” his emphasis during his administration.
J.K. Electric was named the Business of the Year honor at the annual breakfast.
Stories on J.K. Electric, and presentations by Sullivan and Hurley to come.
Crushed Red to offer pizza, salads
Updated 11:28 am, Tuesday, February 7, 2017
A new restaurant is coming to Edwardsville in May.
Crushed Red will be moving into the new building at 222 East Park, at the intersection of Park and South Buchanan.
“We’ve been very excited about Edwardsville,” said Powell Kalish, the Chief Development Officer with Crushed Red. “We’ve been looking in Edwardsville for three years. We like the mix of the day population and the night population with the college and the courts and the businesses downtown.”
Crushed Red was founded in St. Louis.
There are three restaurants in St. Louis and there are franchises in Denver and Columbia, Mo. “We’re opening in Overland Park, near Kansas City, and in Chesterfield in March,” Kalish said.
“We describe Crushed Red as elevated fast casual,” Kalish said, adding that they were known for their salads. “Salads are the stars of our game. We have some that are already dressed or you can craft your own,” he said. “The salad is chopped and dressed in front of you.”
They also offer small pizzas that cook in two minutes, soups, and sharables, or appetizers. “We have a good selection for health conscious diners. We also have a lot of organic,” Kalish said.
The restaurant also offers beer and wine. “We have leather seats, linen tablecloths, and real glassware and china,” Kalish said. The restaurant is 100 percent sustainable, he added, meaning that they compost and recycle everything used. “We can do this because we use real china and glassware,” he said.
“The atmosphere shifts at night,” Kalish said. “We dim the lights and pull the shades. We have people stay a little longer at night.”
Kalish said the restaurant started when the owners saw a need. “People wanted high quality ingredients and atmosphere,” he said. “We saw that there was a gap between Chipotle and full service.” They also recognized the desire for healthier choices, he said.
“We kept the price point in line with fast casual,” he said, “but we have higher quality, health conscious ingredients.”
Some locations are franchised, Kalish said, but those in the St. Louis area are company-owned. The Edwardsville location will be company-owned.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities. We are always looking to see where we might be a good fit,” Kalish said.
The Edwardsville location will have approximately 100 interior seats, with an additional 25 outside when weather permits. There will probably be about 30 employees, Kalish said, with 12 to 15 staff per shift. They will be a mix of full-time and part-time.
“We usually start hiring about 45 days before opening,” Kalish said. “Once we have a more firm timeline, we’ll know when that is.”
EDWARDSVILLE – A sign has gone up at the edge of Edwardsville Crossing that says: TJ Maxx is coming soon. On Monday afternoon it was confirmed that is true.
TJ Maxx will occupy the old Office Depot space in Edwardsville Crossing next to Dierberg’s, Walt Williams, economic/community development director for the City of Edwardsville, said.
Kirkland’s, Ross and Men’s Wearhouse are all located close to where the new TJ Maxx will be, so it is another wonderful addition for major retailers in Edwardsville and the region, Williams said. TJ Maxx may open in Edwardsville by end of March, depending on building renovation.
“TJ Maxx will fill out that old Office Depot space nicely,” Williams said. “We are very happy that Capitol Land Group has come through and found a tenant for that location.”
When Edwardsville analyzes leakage reports, one of the top items on the list is that people tend to spend money outside the Edwardsville area at retail stores.
“We are excited about having TJ Maxx and keeping more of those dollars in the City of Edwardsville,” Williams said.
Williams added he believes the new TJ Maxx will not only be popular with adults but nearby Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students.
The TJX Companies, Inc. operates TJ Maxx and Marshalls, along with HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. The company website said it operates more than 3,600 stores in nine countries, with three e-commerce sites.
“We see ourselves as a global, off-price, value retailer and our mission is to deliver great value to our customers through the combination of brand, fashion, price, and quality,” the company said on the site. “We offer a rapidly changing assortment of brand name and designer merchandise at prices generally 20 percent to 60 percent below department and specialty store regular prices on comparable merchandise, every day.
With our value proposition and exciting treasure-hunt shopping experience, we believe that our demographic reach is among the widest in retail. We attract a broad range of fashion and value conscious customers across many income levels and demographic groups.”
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