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Simmons couple will share ideas on Alton transformation

jacobyrenderingJohn and Jayne Simmons are sharing some of the ideas they’ve been collecting toward transformation of Alton’s downtown core.

Alton Main Street’s quarterly information exchange, called “What’s Up Downtown,” will play host to the couple on Tuesday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. at Jacoby Arts Center, 627 East Broadway in Alton.

The public is invited to learn the latest news regarding developments, which include updates from new and existing businesses, news on real estate transactions and details of upcoming events and projects presented by Alton Main Street.

The Simmons couple will share a video that highlights ideas on transforming the city into the “Healthiest and Happiest City on the Mississippi River” by 2029. They will take questions and share next steps.

Steve Goetten, assistant vice president of First Mid Bank & Trust, will discuss the bank’s plans to open a branch in the Millers Mutual building on East Fourth Street. Simmon’s Giant City Properties acquired that building in 2017 and has been actively remodeling it for lease.

Simmons has also invested in numerous other properties in Downtown in recent months, including the Grand Theater, The Telegraph building, Stratford Hotel, Historic Post Office, and Jacoby Building.

“We believe Alton has all the qualities that people want in a community,” John Simmons said in a statement. “Many people I’ve spoken to see the potential of Downtown Alton and understand that a strong downtown is the foundation of a strong community.”

“We believe Alton is the perfect-sized city to remake one building, one park, one street and one opportunity at a time,” said Jayne Simmons. “By focusing on Downtown Alton, we hope to improve the lifestyle of everyone in Alton.”

She added: “We are asking people to open their hearts and minds to a new way of envisioning Downtown Alton. There is so much potential here that could benefit the entire community. The revitalization will take community collaboration, a planful approach and will occur over the next 10 years and beyond.”

“What’s Up Downtown” is a casual open forum where the community will be brought up to date by Alton Main Street, business and property owners, City officials, the Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau and other stakeholders. Attendees will also enjoy complimentary refreshments and the opportunity to network with other downtown enthusiasts.

If you would like to get involved with Alton Main Street, contact Executive Director Sara McGibany, at (618) 463-1016 or email For full details of the organization’s beautification projects, special events, networking activities, investment opportunities and more, visit

RENDERING: A re-envisioned Jacoby Arts Center building in the 600 block of East Broadway.


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