According to John Eichenlaub of BarberMurphy Group, a developer plans to build a Marriott TownePlace Suites at 445 Regency Park Drive in O’Fallon.
He said the developer is Brad McMillin of O’Fallon and added that plans call for a five-floor hotel with almost 90 rooms. McMillin was not available for comment.
City officials in O’Fallon could not confirm the plans because an official application has not been submitted. However, City Administrator Walter Denton said Wednesday that “we have heard that there are plans to put a hotel there.”
If the application is submitted and accepted, it would be the second new TownePlace location announced for the metro-east. It was announced in February that a TownePlace Suites would be built in Edwardsville.
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SSM Health dumps coal investments
Regional hospital giant SSM Health announced Wednesday it would unload its investments in coal companies as part of a push that also aims to reduce energy use and waste in its facilities.
A statement said the health system would “fully divest all of its investments in coal production companies” in exchange for investing in companies that “generate a measurable beneficial social or environmental impact.”
SSM became a member of the nationwide Healthier Hospitals Initiative and set the following goals: To cut total energy usage by 3 percent, to reach a total recycling rate of 25 percent and to reduce regulated medical waste to under 10 percent of all waste generated at its sites.
System officials did not say into which coal companies SSM had invested.
First Clover Leaf Bank agrees to merger
Edwardsville-based First Clover Leaf Financial Corp., the parent company of First Clover Leaf Bank, agreed to be acquired by First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. in a cash and stock deal.
The deal is valued at $90 million. First Mid-Illinois is the Mattoon-based parent company of First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.
First Clover Leaf stockholders can exchange their current shares for $12.87 in cash per share or exchange the shares for 0.495 per share in First Mid-Illinois stock. Either way, First Clover Leaf shareholders will make a 34 percent premium over the price per share of their stock in the deal.
First Mid-Illinois, with 46 locations throughout Illinois, boasts $2.1 billion in assets. First Clover Leaf has three locations in Edwardsville and one each in Swansea, Highland, Wood River and Clayton, Mo. It has $650 million in assets.
Home sales increase in St. Clair County
Data released by the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois showed more people bought homes in St. Clair County this March than last March —the second year in a row that’s happened.
A total of 277 residential units were sold this March, up almost 10 percent from the 252 units sold in March 2015. Total sales this March and last March far outpace tallies for the month in 2012, 2013 and 2014: Fewer than 200 units were sold in each of those three years.
Year-to-date home sales also increased for the county, the data showed. As of the end of this March, 616 homes had been sold. That’s up from 571 for the same period in 2015. The median home sale price in St. Clair County also reached its highest mark in five years at $139,966.
RASI President Doug Payne said now is a good time both to buy a home and to sell one. “Buyers are looking at the historically low mortgage rates and the gorgeous spring weather, while sellers are taking advantage of the steadily increasing home prices,” he said.
Reliance Bank posts strong earnings
St. Louis-based Reliance Bank’s first quarter report was released Wednesday, and it showed the bank with metro-east locations in O’Fallon, Edwardsville and Columbia tallied its best quarterly earnings ever in the first quarter of this year.
Reliance earned $3.4 million before tax, up 40 percent from the same time last year. Income after taxes was $2.4 million.
The bank loaned $794 million in the first quarter this year, which is $66 million more than it loaned out for the same timeframe last year.
Reliance Bank also is in the midst of a push to bring its branches together with coffee shops with the idea of spurring in-person visits. Construction recently began on a new branch in O’Fallon that will share space with a Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop. It will be the second such dual-use site: The bank’s Des Peres, Mo., branch shares space with a Starbucks.
Sports Authority will dissolve
Sports Authority hoped it could enter bankruptcy protection in order to keep some stores up and running as it restructured its debt.
But a company lawyer told a judge Tuesday plans have changed: Sports Authority will dissolve and its 300 or so remaining stores will either be liquidated or sold to competitors at a bankruptcy auction set for May 16.
There’s one Sports Authority location in the metro-east at 6575 N. Illinois St. in Fairview Heights. The eight other locations in the region are in St. Louis and St. Charles counties.
The current Fairview Heights location was brand new when it opened in March 2014 after relocating from a space along Ludwig Drive.
Representatives for Sports Authority were not available for comment.