In a bid to attract high-end home buyers to Belleville, a development company is planning a subdivision that will feature homes worth $500,000 to $1 million off Frank Scott Parkway West in a project valued at more than $50 million.
The 50-acre site is currently in unincorporated St. Clair County, but the city has begun the process of annexing the land, which is near the intersection of South 11th Street and about a half-mile south of Belleville West High School.
“It’s a very upscale development,” Mayor Mark Eckert said of the subdivision where the average home price is expected to be $700,000. “We’ve had limited high-end housing in recent years. It’d be great to capture some of those new doctors that come to the medical field or lawyers or people who are looking to build that beautiful estate home.’’
It’d be great to capture some of those new doctors that come to the medical field or lawyers or people who are looking to build that beautiful estate home.
Mayor Mark Eckert
Parkway West Development LLC also plans to build six professional office buildings in front of the more than 70 homes. The company building the homes has not yet been finalized. The subdivision, which will feature three lakes, 28 lakefront lots and two entrances to Frank Scott Parkway West, will be called Parkway West Estates. The office buildings will be known as the Parkway West Business Centre.
Construction is expected to begin in the winter, and some buildings could be ready by summer.
Todd Keller, managing partner of Parkway West Development, estimated the project is worth more than $50 million.
Eckert said the city has proposed extending sewer lines to the project. Also, a development agreement between the city and Parkway West Development has been discussed but it has not yet been finalized.
The City Council’s Finance and Master Sewer committees are tentatively scheduled to meet jointly on Oct. 27 to discuss the city’s involvement in assisting the development.
Eckert said he anticipates the primary incentive the city will offer is the sewer line extension. The preliminary estimated cost for this is $350,000, but that cost is expected to be recovered by collecting tap-on fees and usage fees, Eckert said.
Keller said the annexation by the city is crucial for the success of the project.
“People that build houses of this size, they want the very best in police protection and the very best in fire protection. They want the city services,” he said.
Illinois 15 corridor
“I firmly feel that Route 15 is the new entrance to Belleville,” said Keller, who said he has extensive experience in business development.
Keller, who lives in Swansea but grew up in Belleville, said several developments in the Illinois 15 corridor contributed to his investors backing the Parkway West project, which was first proposed more than 10 years ago:
▪ The Hofbrauhaus, hotel, restaurant and sports complex under construction off Illinois 15 near the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. This project is valued at more than $100 million. The Hofbrauhaus side of this development is being spearheaded by Chuck Keller of Effingham and Todd Keller noted he’s not related to the Kellers of Effingham. Also, it was Todd Keller who told Eckert that Chuck Keller could be a developer to bring an upscale hotel to Belleville.
▪ The roadway improvements on Frank Scott Parkway West and extension of 17th Street.
▪ The completion of Belleville West High School off Frank Scott Parkway West.
▪ The opening of the Belleville Crossing shopping center and the Oliver C. Joseph car dealership off Illinois 15.
Todd Keller said the expansion of Lindenwood University-Belleville also bodes well for the economic outlook for Belleville.
Eckert said the Parkway West development “sets the bar and raises the bar for some outstanding development in the Belleville West High School area.”
I feel good about Belleville, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.
Todd Keller, managing partner of Parkway West Development LLC
One of the reasons the subdivision didn’t get off the ground 10 years ago was because of the downturn in the housing market during the recession. But now Keller sees a growing need for upscale homes.
“I feel good about Belleville, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this,” Keller said. “I had people 15 years ago that said, ‘Get us out of Belleville.’ Now I have inquiries, ‘Where can we be in Belleville?’”