The developer of a Belleville subdivision designed to feature homes worth $500,000 to $1 million and office buildings had hoped to have some buildings finished over the summer, but construction is not expected to begin until October.
To help pave the way for the project, Belleville agreed to annex the site off Frank Scott Parkway West near Belleville West High School and extend sewer lines to the 50-acre development.
The city is paying $420,000 for the sewer work, which is expected to be completed this fall.
“After you go through all these hurdles, it’s going pretty good,” developer Todd Keller said. “I’m not too worried about the fact that it takes a while to get all these agreements done and get everything squared away.”
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Keller said the annexation process took longer than he originally estimated.
After you go through all these hurdles, it’s going pretty good. I’m not too worried about the fact that it takes a while to get all these agreements done and get everything squared away.
Parkway West developer Todd Keller
The project was first proposed over 10 years ago, but Keller said the plans were delayed by the economic crash in 2008 and the ensuing fallout in the housing market. Keller announced the revival of the development last fall.
The subdivision, which will have 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 and will be marketed to professionals such as lawyers and accountants. The office buildings will not be available for retail businesses, Keller said.
Keller said the first phase calls for nine homes and three office buildings to be built. The estate homes worth $1 million are planned for a later phase. For the complete build-out, the project would have 74 homes and six office buildings and be worth $50 million, he said.
Home buyers and professional businesses such as law firms and accountants want to be in the city, particularly for the services offered by the city’s paid, full-time fire department, Keller said.
Keller will build the office buildings and then sell them to clients, and another company will be selected to build the homes.
“It’s a very upscale project that I think is a great fit for that corridor,” Mayor Mark Eckert said.
“I think it helps the city having those estate homes available, not that a lot of us can necessarily afford that type of home, but it’s great to have … those available for those people who can.”
Royce Carlisle, director of the city’s sewer department, said the sewer line work will be done by Hank’s Excavating of Belleville. Crews will run sewer lines under 11th Street and Frank Scott Parkway but the roadways will not be torn up and traffic disruptions should be minimal, Carlisle said.
Last Monday, the city annexed 10 acres adjacent to the Parkway West site.
As part of the annexation agreement with William B. Schaumleffel III and Karmen Schaumleffel, the city agreed to extend sewers to this property.
Keller said there are no immediate development plans for this land, but there could be something built there in the future.
We keep annexing and annexing and annexing and we can’t take care of the properties and the streets and the roads that we have right now. To continue to annex in the hope that there might be future development, we’ve got to start taking care of our core before we keep adding to the city.
Ward 2 Alderman Mike Buettner
“It just makes sense for them to look at the future and us as well,” Keller told the City Council.
The vote to annex the Schaumleffel property was 15-1, with Ward 2 Alderman Mike Buettner casting the lone “no” vote.
“We keep annexing and annexing and annexing and we can’t take care of the properties and the streets and the roads that we have right now,” Buettner said. “To continue to annex in the hope that there might be future development, we’ve got to start taking care of our core before we keep adding to the city.”
In response, Eckert said commercial development near Belleville West High School would have been further along if the “unbelievable recession” had not occurred.
It’s empty, I’d like to fill it. But I’m not going to tell anybody they can’t develop in this town until we do.
Ward 1 Alderman Joe Hazel said of the old Walmart location in Carlyle Plaza.
He called the high school building, which opened in 2003, one of the city’s “crown jewels” for attracting development along the Illinois 15 and Frank Scott Parkway corridor.
And Ward 1 Alderman Joe Hazel argued that the city needs new development, even though companies such has Walmart have left behind vacant storefronts in Belleville. The Belleville Walmart moved to the Green Mount Commons shopping center about eight years ago.
“It’s empty, I’d like to fill it,” Hazel said of the old Walmart location in Carlyle Plaza. “But I’m not going to tell anybody they can’t develop in this town until we do.”