The construction of the new St. Elizabeth’s replacement hospital in O’Fallon is at the top of the list of new commercial development to the area — causing an influx of business with the increased volume of workers and staff commuting, eating and shopping in the local O’Fallon-Shiloh area.
Gary Mueller, owner of the Egg & I eatery in O’Fallon, located on Regency Park off of Green Mount Road next to the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital construction zone, said “business continues to grow here,” since it’s 2012 opening.
“Business is definitely up, but I can’t quite put my finger on whether the main cause is because of the St. E’s construction or not, but I know for sure we do get a lot of those construction worker folks from over there,” Mueller said.
He said other contributing factors to an uptick in local business activity include recent new developments like the Tim Horton’s Cafe & Bake Shop and the Reliance Bank on Regency Park Drive. Additionally, new residential construction in the area combined with factors such as nearby Scott Air Force Base, and the new Shiloh Memorial Hospital East campus opening last spring all have a role to play.
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“All the new business, and everything with it, has been helpful in increasing business for us,” Mueller said.
Denny’s at 737 W. U.S. 50 is just around the corner from the construction site.
Brett Taylor, general manager of the O’Fallon location, said “we’ve not seen an increase in business due to the construction, but we are looking forward to the new hospital being completed, maybe then we will see a change.”
“We actually even offered a 20 percent discount off meals to all construction workers on that site when they began building, but sadly we only had a few guys take advantage of the offer,” Taylor said.
Gary and Lori Potter, owners of Jersey Mike’s Subs, 3284 Green Mount Crossing Dr., have seen a rise in patron traffic.
“We’ve for sure had an increase in customers in the past year or so, but I can’t pinpoint the exact number of customers who are solely from St. E’s, but I’d say about 10 percent,” Gary Potter said.
Potter said the new Shiloh Memorial Hospital East has brought in more customers daily since opening in April.
“I even have our regulars who I know are workers helping to build the new St. E’s hospital, maybe five to 10 or so, who are here by about 10:15 a.m. every morning to grab their sandwich. Then throughout the day, there’s about another 20 or so guys who look like construction guys who come into our shop,” Potter said. “We strive to get people in and out because we know a lot of these guys only have about a 1/2 hour window to eat and get back on the job site.”
According to the O’Fallon Economic Development Profile released in the spring, O’Fallon is part of the Highway 64/40 corridor, with more than $2.6 billion in developments related to healthcare, which is commonly referred to by commercial developers like Miles Properties Inc. owner Darwin Miles as the “Medical Mile.”
Miles was a partner to the development of the Regency Conference Center and, next door, the Hilton Garden Inn off Regency Park Drive, just behind the new hospital campus.
“I think everyone sees there is more traffic and business happening in the area surrounding the Green Mount Road area because of many new business developments, not just St. Elizabeth’s,” Miles said. “I’ve slowed down quite a bit now with more than 100 some transactions (property/business ventures) at that interchange area, but right now I already have another medical user under contract for some land over by Parkway 64 in Shiloh.”
Attracting more jobs for the region as a result of new and continued commercial construction is another key factor leading to the increase in economic development impact in O’Fallon and Shiloh, Miles said.
“The foundation for success has been built and will attract excellent medical jobs, and in addition, to the ancillary medical and business jobs too,” Miles said. “From a land owner perspective business has picked up in the last couple of years — there’s a lot of activity from the local business and restaurant owners I’ve talked to in the past couple months.”
The city’s economic development profile also shows data proving consumer spending in O’Fallon has a higher 119-124 index value than the U.S. average of 100 as compared to other cities in the country.
For example, consumer spending for food away from home is set at 120, while retail goods is at 119; moreover, health care, entertainment and recreation spending is also at 120. Travel is the peak index value of 124.
O’Fallon city reports that the food and beverage tax is set at 1 percent, which rose from $300,000 in revenue in 2007 to more than $700,000 in 2015. Likewise, there was an increase in sales tax revenue of about $4 million in 1999 to more than $7 million in 2015.
City of O’Fallon Economic Development Profile
Local O’Fallon estimated daily traffic counts (vehicles per day)
▪ I-64 at exit 14 — 70,100
▪ U.S. Hwy 50 at exit 14 — 28,400
▪ I-64 at exit 16 — 59,500
▪ Green Mount Road at exit 16 — 24,600
▪ Green Mount Road north of I-64 — 12,100
▪ Green Mount Road south of I-64 — 24,600
▪ I-64 at Lincoln Avenue — 53,000
▪ U.S. Hwy 50 west of I-64 — 27,400
▪ U.S. Hwy 50 east of I-64 — 28,400
▪ U.S. Hwy 50 at Lincoln Avenue — 16,000
▪ U.S. Hwy 50 east of Lincoln Avenue — 16,000
▪ Lincoln Avenue south of U.S. Hwy 50 — 10,900
▪ Frank Scott Parkway west of Green Mount Road — 17,600
▪ Central Park Drive west of Green Mount Road — 17,200
▪ U.S. Hwy 50 east of Green Mount Road — 23,800
Source: ESRI & gettingaroundillinois.com