Columbia officials are paving the way for a developer to turn the former Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the adjacent convent and school and grounds at South Main and Madison streets into a $4.5 million multi-use entertainment block.
Dubbed Main Street Abbey, the church sanctuary is slated to become an event and catering venue. A craft brew house, coffee shop and wood-fired pizza restaurant also are included in the plans. There are also plans for loft apartments and a bed and breakfast.
Columbia Community and Economic Development director Paul Ellis said the project is modeled after the Kennedy School development in Portland, Ore. Developer Gregg Crawford is seeking the city’s assistance in the form of a Tax Increment Financing district to complete the redevelopment project.
Chicks dig it
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The Swansea Rural King is getting back in the business of selling baby chicks.
Rural King animal health specialist Cynthia Rush and consultant Ann May will host “chicken chats” at 10 a.m. Saturday and at 10 a.m. March 5 at the Swansea location to help those interested learn the basics of raising chickens.
Rush said she’s working with the Swansea Village Board to craft an ordinance to allow residential chickens. Collinsville and Fairview Heights allow residential chickens, while a proposal to allow them in unincorporated residential areas in St. Clair County has been tabled. Chickens are allowed in areas zoned for agriculture.
Rural King will get the chicks from the well-known Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Mo.
Construction underway on port warehouse
The warehouse will be connected to rail service and its design also includes some office space. A tenant has not yet emerged.
Construction of the warehouse marks the first step in a planned expansion at the port. Currently, the port boasts 1.7 million square feet of rail-served warehouse space. They’d like to increase that by another 1 million square feet.
Bank on it
The First National Bank in Carlyle is acquiring two banks in Clinton County.
Bank President and CEO Bryan Marsh announced the acquisition of the Centrue Bank locations in Aviston and St. Rose. While Streator-based Centrue has most of its locations in north-central and eastern Illinois, the bank also operates in Fairview Heights and St. Louis.
Marsh said regulatory approval of the acquisition is pending, but he expects it to conclude this spring.