Metro-East News

Construction underway on O’Fallon sports store

Construction began three weeks ago on what soon will be a new sporting goods store in O’Fallon.

Academy Sports + Outdoors’ first store in the St. Louis area will go up in Lincoln Crossing in the 1500 block of West U.S. 50.

The PetsMart store next door to the east of the construction site downsized to make room for the new store. Its west wall was knocked down and rebuilt a few feet to the east. The two buildings will butt up against one another.

A representative for Academy couldn’t be reached for information about specifics of the building under construction or how many workers will be employed there once it’s complete.

New digs for ApexNetwork

The physical therapy clinic ApexNetwork had been located at 2136 Vadalabene Drive in Maryville but moved into a brand new building that was a bit bigger and more easily accessible. A ribbon cutting was celebrated Thursday.

The new site is at 4599 Illinois 159 in Maryville. ApexNetwork will split the new, 10,000-square-foot building with MidAmerica Plastic Surgery.

Swansea MedExpress opening nears

Thanks to extensive renovations that are nearly complete, the new look to the building at the corner of North Illinois Street and Colleen Drive in Swansea is taking shape, and a spokeswoman for MedExpress Urgent Care said a springtime opening of the facility is expected.

The 4,900-square-foot site will include seven exam rooms as well as onsite X-ray machines and a lab, Annie Jamieson said.

Jamieson didn’t have a specific cost of the renovations. She said when new sites open, they usually employ 20 people between the customer service staff and the medical team.

MedExpress is based in Morgantown, W.Va., and Canonsburg, Pa.

ILLINOISouth Tourism is honored

The tourism bureau that stretches from the east bank of the Mississippi to the west bank of the Wabash was honored last month at the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism in Springfield.

ILLINOISouth Tourism’s cooperative work promoting the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail won it the Excellence in Tourism award March 21.

The Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail was designated as a historic site by the Illinois General Assembly in 2014 and weaves 60 miles through St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph counties.

ILLINOISouth promotes the region to prospective visitors and covers 22 counties. Geographically speaking, it’s the largest tourism bureau in Illinois.

Calling all franchisees!

R Taco, a fast-casual taco restaurant chain that’s owned by Buffalo Wild Wings, wants to move into the St. Louis region and is seeking interested and qualified franchisees to talk about expansion.

According to a statement from the chain, vice president and managing director of R Taco Tom Berzinski said: “We see great potential in the St. Louis market.”

R Taco was founded in Dallas, Texas, by Rusty Fenton, who is locally famous for his belief that — “Tacos are the most important meal of the day.”

Housing data shows improvement

Housing numbers out last week showed the number of homes built in St. Clair County this February outpaced the same period a year ago.

According to the REALTOR Association of Southwestern Illinois, 182 homes were built in St. Clair County in February. That’s up from 148 built in February 2015.

The report also showed 323 homes were sold in the county this February, compared to 293 a year ago.

The median home price in the county also rose to $117,000 this February compared to $105,888 last year.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND