Metro-East News

Something new could soon be coming near the McKendree Metro Rec Plex, developer says

City of O’Fallon hopes for new business near Metro Rec Plex

The city of O’Fallon is hoping for more development near the McKendree Metro Rec Plex. A hotel, restaurant and gas station are all possibilities.
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The city of O’Fallon is hoping for more development near the McKendree Metro Rec Plex. A hotel, restaurant and gas station are all possibilities.

Nearly a year after a state-of-the-art recreational complex opened off U.S. 50, there’s still plenty of room for commercial development, though no official proposals have come forward, city officials say.

But the owner and developer of the 40-acre plot, home to the McKendree Metro Rec Plex, says an announcement could be coming soon. Businesses would be built on the empty land to the east and south of the Metro Rec Plex, which houses two ice skating rinks, a 10-lane swimming pool and a fitness center.

The Rec Plex opened in February 2017, paving the way for future development on the eastern edge of town. Aldermen have identified the area as one of several where development would be welcome.

There is still empty land adjacent to the complex on the plot at the corner of Scott Troy Road and U.S. 50, though the developer says plans could be announced within the next few months.

But for now, Dean Oelze, president of Nashville, Ill.-based developer S.I. Strategy, LLC, said he can’t release any details.

“We have many things in the works that we can’t announce right now, but will in the coming months,” Oelze said.

S.I. Strategy included in its original plans a layout for a hotel, pharmacy, gas station, fast food restaurant and coffee shop next to the Metro Rec Plex, calling the area “Four Points Center.”

The developer put up a sign indicating a gas station and bank would become neighbors to the complex, but the city hasn’t received any plans as of yet, Mayor Herb Roach said. The area is zoned for a broad range of businesses as defined in city code, from restaurants or retail shops to special uses like a gas station or a hotel.

“There’s nothing we’ve received in hand at this point,” Roach said. “But we are fortunate that we have people looking from our western borders to our eastern borders at different sites.”

Ted Shekell, the city’s community development director, says the city hopes to see the remainder of the area around the Metro Rec Plex developed.

“The city would love to see the Metro Rec Plex fully developed in the near future,” Shekell said in an email. “We have been working with the developer on several projects that have been looking at the 40-acre site.”

We have many things in the works that we can’t announce right now, but will in the coming months.

Dean Oelze, president of S.I. Strategy, LLC

Another bank-owned plot of land on the east side of Scott Troy Road, the former location of a trailer home park, is also available for development.

The mayor said there are more potential tenants looking at both locations.

O’Fallon residents responding to an informal poll on social media say they would like to see a Schnucks, Trader Joe’s, Costco, a P.F. Chang’s Chinese bistro or a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant in that area. Multiple residents, including Erica Critser McGill, said a sit-down restaurant would be their choice.

“I would love to see an actual sit-down restaurant,” McGill said. “O’Fallon is growing and we still don’t have much of a variety to choose from.”

Another resident, Sharon Stubbe Hubbman, said she would like to see more local stores go in next to the Metro Rec Plex.

“I’d love to have some type of venue for local vendors such as local candles or soaps, local meats, local produce and artisans,” Hubbman said.

Once a business has signed on with a developer, the developer’s plan has to be approved by relevant city committees and city council. Agendas for city meetings can be found on the city of O’Fallon’s website.

Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis

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