Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Engineering and Architecture
Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC, Restaurant, Sports and Hotel/Convention Complex, Belleville
By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
The landscape along Illinois Route 15 in Belleville across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows will soon be transformed into a local hotspot.
Effingham developers Chuck Keller and his son Chane, along with Forrest Langenfeld of Centralia, are developing 81 acres of land for what will encompass hotels, restaurants, a convention center and a new multistate youth athletics complex.
Not only will the project raise Belleville’s profile in the region, it will also boost the economic outlook for the Shrine. The developers will lease the land from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the religious order that oversees the Shrine.
Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC is providing the engineering planning and design, including traffic engineering, environmental site assessment, geotechnical engineering, soils analysis, foundation design, roadway design, site and grading plans, utility design and coordination, drainage design, and permitting.
Kaskaskia’s Todd Reyling is the firm’s project manager, coordinating site development with the developers, the city of Belleville, the Illinois Department of Transportation, utility companies, and within his firm.
A total of three hotels, a conference center, seven unique restaurants, and a gas station and convenience store are all part of the plan. One of those unique restaurants will be Hofbräuhaus, which had its beginnings in Munich, Germany, more than 400 years ago. Hofbräuhaus St. Louis-Belleville will be the exclusive location in the area and just the eighth in the country. The project will tap into Belleville’s German heritage.
The newest part of the development was announced in July. Global Sports International, known for its sports brand Game On, broke ground on the new Belleville MultiSport Complex. With nine Astroturf fields and two regular grass fields, the youth sports facility will be able to accommodate not only the multistate soccer tournaments it will host, but could also be used for lacrosse, rugby and other sports. Also included will be sand volleyball courts.
The entire development will be family-friendly and would be the sole local destination offering hotel accommodations on-site for tournament-participating families.
“This project is a really good fit for our firm, which strives to design projects that enhance community and economic development, for the city, and for the Shrine,” said Reyling. “It will draw people in from everywhere with its unique offerings and its family appeal.”
The Hofbräuhaus is slated for a January 2016 completion date, with the other facilities to follow.