O'Fallon Progress

City is 'confident' Southview Plaza will be razed

Herb Roach
Herb Roach

We are nearing the end of March, which means that construction season is starting to enter full speed. As you drive around O’Fallon, you will see a lot of projects taking place. I want to take a moment to share with you some of the developments in O’Fallon.

On Green Mount Road, as expected, last year’s opening of HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has been the catalyst for growth. Next door to the medical campus, Sugarfire Smoke House BBQ is nearing completion and should be opening soon. South of Dewey’s Pizza, which opened up last fall, construction on the Mariott TownePlace Suites continues. This new hotel should be open this coming fall.

While progress is not yet visible, the opening of the hospital also brought forth a lot of new interest in some of the undeveloped land around Exit 16 and on Central Park. We hope that we will be able to share more good news about this corridor in the near future.

On Highway 50, stretching the length of O’Fallon, businesses continue to build or expand. On the west side, construction of the new Starbucks nears completion. Just east of Green Mount Road, Dollar General just opened its new location, which moved out of Southview Plaza. On the east end of the city, the McKendree Metro RecPlex continues to push forward with developing the acreage around their new facility.

Speaking of Southview Plaza, we have been working with the owner of this property for the past few months. We are confident that there will soon be signs of movement toward demolition of this distressed shopping center in order to make way for a redevelopment of this important O’Fallon intersection.

South on Lincoln, at the area known as “Rasp Farm,” a developer just broke ground on a new traffic signal that is being required by St. Clair County (this portion of Lincoln Avenue is a St. Clair County Road). The developer would have preferred to wait to install this traffic light until after this area had a development project confirmed. But, the developer had to install the light prior to this summer, or forfeit any development incentives approved many years ago. We hope that this light will help make this property more attractive for future development, and help create gaps in vehicular traffic, making it easier to exit Lincoln Avenue off Peirce Boulevard or Dartmouth Drive.

In downtown O’Fallon, we hope to begin construction soon on the new downtown pavilion. This new community gathering space will host events like farmers’ markets and bring more people to our downtown. Concurrently, we will be construction a new parking lot to the west of City Hall and creating additional parking north of Shooters BBQ. This will help create more parking and further prepare downtown for future growth.

There is a good amount of private development also occurring in downtown O’Fallon. The former city-owned building at 200 S. Lincoln was sold in December to Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, with plans to use it for medical office space. The building west of Shooters, has been renovated and the facade now includes beautiful windows. The owners of this building are searching for suitable businesses for this property.

As you can see, there is a lot going on around O’Fallon. I know that this forward momentum will continue.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.