A roadblock marks the stubbed end of Commerce Center Drive South in Gateway Commerce Center in Edwardsville. In the acreage beyond, officials say construction of a building of up to a million square feet is possible, given recent interest. The site is between two existing Amazon fulfillment centers east of Illinois 255. IBJ photo by Dennis Grubaugh
This story is from the December edition of the Illinois Business Journal. To see more stories, go to the current edition link at ibjonline.com
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Walter Williams wheels his city vehicle through the streets of Gateway Commerce Center, a man on a mission.
He has facts to share about a community that is managing to eke out development successes in a world that is generally having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
“When I talk to my colleagues who develop stuff out here, there’s been no drop off in interest in these properties,” he tells his passenger. “The concern going forward is what we have in the pipeline in 2021. Potentially, we have some things that are on schedule to be developed, if the moons align properly.”
Williams, the economic development director in Edwardsville, is driven by success. In each of his four years as director, the city has seen $100 million in commercial development permits. This year, 2020, is going to be down, to a projected $75 million.
“Historically, we’re able at this time of year to list at least $30 million to $50 million in new projects going to occur in the next year. We cannot do that right now,” he said.
But, there is hope. Led by continuing interest in Gateway and Lakeview commerce centers, the city expects to see major development once the COVID-19 era has passed. The community scored a big prize in November when a Roxana-based company, Clean Industrial Service, signed a lease on the 67,000-square-foot Turner Electric Building on Enterprise Drive in Gateway Commerce Center. The site is west of Illinois 255, the highway that splits Gateway into parts east and west. Gateway falls into both Edwardsville and Pontoon Beach.
Clean Industrial Service is a technical/industrial supply company, which provides testing and monitoring services for firms like the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery. It will be consolidating its Southern Illinois and Missouri operations at the new site.
“They will be bringing 167 new jobs and creating 20,” Williams said. “It was a competitive RFI (request for information), and we won.”
Other businesses may be attracted as a result of Clean Industrial Service’s plans, he said.
“We anticipate other ancillary businesses relocating to be near this facility,” Williams said.
Developer Panattoni has land next to the old Turner building and has room for potentially two buildings of 365,000 and 400,000 square feet, Williams said.
Not far away, at neighboring Lakeview Commerce Center at New Poag Road and Illinois Route 111, Panattoni has a lease pending on an existing 767,000-square-foot building for an unnamed, big-name company that is already revamping the building for its use.
The same company has expressed interest in even more space, creating the potential for another, up to million-square-foot building on the lot adjacent to the building it is now revamping, Williams said.
Nothing has been made public just yet and all the leases are privately conducted transactions.
Prospects remain good for both Lakeview and Gateway, he said. Right before the coronavirus took hold, one company was looking to expand in the Lakeview area — in the very building now being occupied by the unnamed company.
“They did a labor study, and we were competing against Wentzville (Mo.). And the study determined that we had more favorable and available labor than Wentzville,” he said.
Despite the study, the company opted not to through with expansion, but reconfigured some existing space. The new, unnamed company is now taking the building.
Another big site that has potential for development is at the end of Gateway Commerce Drive South. The road serves two Amazon fulfillment centers, but it dead ends at that point. Just beyond is sizeable acreage on which a building of up to 1 million square feet could be built. There has been interest, William said.
One logistical problem is the available land in Edwardsville’s part of the warehouse area, Williams said. He estimated there are five, good-size lots available, four in Gateway and one in Lakeview.
The city has approached one area farmer about 305 acres at Illinois 255 and New Poag Road, but those talks have not yielded any interested buyers, in part because of available, cheaper land elsewhere.
That could be helped by getting the land included in a new enterprise zone. The current Gateway Commerce zone expires in 2025, and the current one cannot be simply renewed, he said.
Edwardsville officials are hoping to meet in December with a management committee for the enterprise zone, comprised of local mayors and others, to discuss recreating another enterprise zone.
Just five years ago, Gateway was home to around 5,000 employees. Now, the number could be closer to 8,000 to 9,000. That’s a selling point for investors, Williams said.
“Next spring when things return to normal we’ll try to ascertain that information,” he said.
There are now close to 30 warehousing buildings between Gateway Commerce Center and Lakeview Commerce Center in the two community area.
Projects in the works in Edwardsville
Here are some of the commercial projects that are coming or announced in Edwardsville. The statistics include the year the project will be done; the approximate investment where known; and notes the city has provided about the type of project and/or its status.
I-55 Corridor (near Illinois Route 143)
- Hampton Inn & Suites; 2021-2022, $9 million; a planned unit development (PUD) and retention basin is part of the first phase of this project.
- Gas station/fast food; 2021-2022; $2 million; a PUD and retention basin is part of the first phase of this project.
- Smash Golf; 2021; $1 million; south of State Route 143 in Plocher’s development.
- Drury Hotel; 2021; $9 million; planned by an Edwardsville developer.
- Anderson Hospital Rehab Hospital; 2020; $17,596,268
- Anderson Medical Building; 2021-2022; $20 million; 50,000-square-foot medical building. This two-story building will consolidate many of Anderson Medical Group primary care practices into one location.
Gateway Commerce Center
- Clean Industrial Service; 2020-21; $1 million; company is a global leader proving integrated, digitally-enabled asset performance assurance and optimization solutions. 20 new jobs from Missouri, 167 existing in Illinois.
- Gateway Prospect Lot 7, undisclosed; 2021; $3 million; 400,000-square-foot distribution center for local retailer. Needs rail spur from Norfolk & Western. 200 new jobs are projected.
- World Wide Technologies; 2022-2023; $16 million; projects needing 1 million more square feet within the next two years. Wants to keep operations in close proximity of other Edwardsville operations. WWT has renewed leases for Lakeview facilities.
- Gateway Prospect-Exeter, 2021; client needs 325,000 square feet, will occupy south side of building. 60 new employees. Needs MCT service to be extended to this facility.
Edwardsville Market Place
- Medical user, former Shop & Save building; 2021; PUD and zoning variances have been approved by Edwardsville City Council.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill, former Bank of Hillsboro; 2021; the applicant has submitted the PUD amendment. The restaurant is scheduled to open in spring 2021.
Lakeview Commerce Center
- Building 5 in Lakeview; 2021; a local company in Lakeview needs additional space. COVID-19 placed plans on hold.
Trace on the Parkway
- Cedars of Lebanon; spring 2021; city approved variances.
- Hair Salon; spring 2021; signed letter of intent
- Tani Sushi Bistro; spring 2021; signed letter of intent
- Cafe Napoli; spring 2021; signed letter of intent
- STL Kolache; $106,000; now open.
- Blue Violet Restaurant; spring 2021; Sugo’s restaurant owner’s new restaurant concept.
- Loverly Boutique; fall 2020; $95,062.
- Trends’ter Clothing Boutique; fall 2021; $135,000
- Chiropractic Cryotherapy & Nutrition Counseling; spring 2021
- Rocket Bowles; spring 2021; $4 million; a Greenville-based company expanding into Edwardsville.
- Morgan Stanley; 2022; planned for the corner of Governors’ Parkway and State Route 157.
- Five Guys 1990 Troy Road; fall 2021; variance setbacks approved, demolition done.
- Mark’s Appliances, 1507 Troy; spring 2021; $400,000; façade grant approved. Construction permits issued. Construction started October 2020
- Peel Brewery/Condos; winter 2021
- Dieterich Bank; winter 2021; construction underway on State Route 157
- Dobbs Tire; 2021; $1,762 million; under construction
- 202-210 Schwartz (mixed-use development), 2021; project placed on hold for financial reasons.
- 4 Hermanos Mexican Cuisine; winter 2020; signed lease
- HSHS medical facility; summer 2020; $2,222 million; ribbon cutting held in October
Ironworks (Theatre View)
- Retail Cannabis-First to the Finish; two developers have offered to purchase building from owner.
- Osteo Strong; spring 2021; signed letter of intent
- Unknown bank, 30,000-40,000 square feet; fall 2021
- Mousalli’s on Main; fall 2021; $4 million; COVID-19 has delayed company’s plans
- Former city Public Safety Building; new owner; unknown
- Wayne’s Dry Cleaners; slated for demo, new owner
- 512 N. Main St.; slated for demo; new owner
- Bank of Belleville; spring 2022; converting 119 S. Main St. to a bank. The main entrance will be in the rear. Utilizing plans for 4 Hands redevelopment.
- Phoenix Senior Living Apartments; 2021; $8 million; completion is projected for June 2021. Second apartment building will be under roof by December 2020. A website has been created to take reservations for leasing apartments. Agreed to a ribbon cutting in July 2021.
- Leverette Lane Apartments; 2020; $610,000
Timberlake Village Development
- Unger Eye Care – Edwardsville Office; winter 2020; $1,93 million;
- Golden Oak Pancake House; spring 2021; Swansea-based restaurant expanding to Edwardsville.