Metro-East News

Tired of pedaling uphill? Local store has a solution for you

Workers prepare the site of what will be a St. Louis Bread Co. restaurant at Belleville Crossing. The restaurant occupies space between the Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants.
Workers prepare the site of what will be a St. Louis Bread Co. restaurant at Belleville Crossing. The restaurant occupies space between the Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants.

Pedego, which sells and rents battery-powered bicycles and also offers tours on area bike trails, has a new location.

The store is now located at 439 S. Buchanan St. Suite B in Edwardsville.

According to a statement from the company, a “rising fan base has led to a necessary move to a larger location.”

The Edwardsville site is the only full-fledged Pedego location in the St. Louis metro area. Independent bike shops in St. Peters, Mo. and near Town and Country, Mo. also sell Pedego products.

“Madison County is a region known for its cycling enthusiasts,” Pedego CEO Don DiCostanzo said in the statement. “And it’s wonderful to see how quickly the community has become fond of Pedego electric bikes.”

Pedego is based in Fountain Valley, Calif.

O’Fallon restaurant is razed

The building that once housed 17th Street Bar & Grill and Super Smokers BBQ in O’Fallon is no more.

The front portion of the building at 1711 W. U.S. 50 came down to make way for what O’Fallon city officials have said will be an urgent care center, though which specific center that will be has yet to be announced.

A fast-food chain has also considered building adjacent to the urgent care center, but that hasn’t been announced, either.

Stay tuned.

Work begins at Bread Co. site

Workers recently began laying the groundwork for what eventually will be the new restaurant on the block at Belleville Crossing.

According to renderings, the St. Louis Bread Co. planned at the site will include a drive-thru and space for outdoor dining.

Belleville aldermen approved the design for the restaurant during a meeting in June.

Currently, excavation and foundation work is ongoing at the site.

Brian Barnard, a project manager with Parnera Bread, said in June the restaurant could be open as soon as late November if the weather cooperated.

Belleville market forced to close

Sammy’s Market, located at 530 N. Douglas Ave. in Belleville, was forced to close several weeks ago after its owner allegedly completed work in the building without a city permit.

According to Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert, store owner Ehssan Hamdan did sewer and electrical line work without obtaining the proper permission to do so. That resulted in the revocation of Hamdan’s commercial occupancy permit.

Eckert also pulled the market’s liquor license.

A hearing was scheduled for Thursday during which Eckert had said he would further explain why he pulled the liquor license, but it was continued for a week after Hamdan’s lawyer asked for more time to prepare a response.

Eckert can either affirm his decision to pull the license or re-establish it.

Housing is (still) hot

The housing market in St. Clair County showed continued strength July as median home prices rose, according to the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois.

According to RASI’s August press release, 287 homes were sold in St. Clair County in July, the highest tally for the month in the county in four years. Similarly, the 1,854 homes sold in St. Clair County so far in 2016 far outpaces similar tallies in any of the previous four years.

Median home prices soared in Monroe County, the data showed. The median home price there in July was $237,250. That’s way higher than the $205,000 and $207,000 medians recorded in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Prior to 2014, the median sale price for homes in Monroe County hadn’t broken $200,000.

Another sign of strength in the market was a noted decrease in the average time it took to sell a home in July. In St. Clair County, the average days on the market for a home decreased by almost 36 percent for the month. In Monroe County, the decrease was more than 64 percent for the month.

Statewide, though, fewer homes were sold this July compared to last July. A release from Illinois Realtors stated fewer homes in Illinois were available for sale even as demand remained high. That dynamic has played out in the metro-east, where a strong demand for new homes is butting heads with a shortage of available ground on which to build them.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND