Metro-East News

Pot farm site was quite a bargain at just $700K

Progressive Treatment Solutions LLC scored a bargain when it bought the site for its new medical cannabis farm off Illinois 3 and just south of the Interstate 70 entrance to the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

In 2001, at the peak of the dotcom bubble, a Canadian telecommunications company called 360networks spent $4.5 million to build a state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot data collection center, and then surround it with an 8-foot-high fence.

But when 360networks went bust after the bubble burst, U.S. Cellular bought the fiber-optic networks site at 737 Locust Ave. in 2003 for $1.3 million, St. Clair County real estate records show.

On April 1, U.S. Cellular sold the site to Progressive Treatment for just $700,000, or less than one-sixth of its original cost, according to St. Clair County real estate documents.

Progressive Treatment, of suburban Chicago, is licensed to convert the data collection center into an indoor medical marijuana farm. The East St. Louis Planning Commission is set to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 301 River Park Drive, to amend zoning rules that would allow the proposed marijuana farm to conform to existing zoning regulations.

Progressive Treatment Solutions, which holds the state license to grow medical marijuana in the five-county district that includes St. Clair and Madison counties, acquired the property last month. It will likely begin the move into the building by the end of this month, according to Mayor Alvin Parks Jr.

A temporary restraining order granted by a Madison County judge in March had threatened to halt progress on the indoor cannabis farm. But with the order’s lifting last week, no legal obstacles remain for Progressive Treatment to begin operations.

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