O'Fallon Progress

City, developer strike deal to demolish Southview Plaza in O'Fallon

The Southview Plaza redevelopment took a major step forward Monday.

The O’Fallon City Council approved a tax increment financing (TIF) redevelopment agreement with Dover Frontier, the owner of Southview Plaza.

The plan is to demolish the plaza and perform environmental remediation necessary to make the property ready for redevelopment.

“After five months of negotiations, we came to an agreement,” Mayor Herb Roach said after the meeting. “People have been wanting something done with Southview for years. We have many more things to announce shortly.”

City Administrator Walter Denton explained that by tearing down the old buildings and removing the environmental clean-up issues, the project will then be much more attractive for developers to propose a viable new project.

He said in talking with the owners a few years ago, prospective developers were leery of the problems with soil contamination under the property and uncertain about the costs.

“This is the first step to get it going. No one has been willing to redevelop and purchase it,” he said. “This way, we make it more attractive for redevelopment.”

The maximum cost will be $1.8 million to demolish all structures on site, provide all environmental cleanup and obtain a “No Further Remediation” letter from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. This will make the site suitable for future redevelopment

Terry Bruckert, the city’s TIF legal counsel, drafted the agreement.

All reimbursements will be through the Central City TIF, and only if there is a project that is satisfactory to the City Council, Denton said. They will not be eligible until then. There are no upfront payments.

Some tenants have relocated, like Dollar General. Southview Plaza and downtown O’Fallon were included in the TIF district to promote redevelopment of older commercial areas. Southview Plaza had been declining for years, and this is a way to rejuvenate the area.

Other Business

In other action, security renovations on O'Fallon City Hall were approved, and will be underway shortly. They include upgrades to the City Council Chambers and front lobby areas to improve security, audio/visual function, and space flexibility.

Resolutions authorizing Millennium Construction for work of $150,257, including demolition and general construction, which came under bid, was approved.

So was a bid from Modern Communications Inc. for $37,881, including component installation, training, and integration of broadcast, presentation, audio/visual, and broadcast scheduling equipment located in the City Council Chambers and Production Room.

The replacement system includes cameras, microphones and audio control hardware and software. Upgrades mean up to 18 participants to be seated on the dais, and will allow meetings to be publicly broadcasted in higher quality.

Egyptian Workspace Partners bid of $14,755.32 includes furniture for the chambers and front desk area. It was below staff estimates.

The proposed budget of $74,453,583 for the fiscal year from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019, advanced on first reading. Before consideration April 16, a public hearing will be held.

Alderman Robert Kueker, Finance Committee chairman, complimented the city’s department heads and Budget Director Sandy Evans on their work.

“We certainly couldn’t have done this without them,” he said.

An agreement with White and Borgognoni Architects to design and provide construction documents for bidding, so that the Historical Society building roof can be replaced, was approved for $6,400.

The project is to include removing existing built up roofing systems and replacing with new code compliant rigid insulation systems, single ply membrane, and metal flashing systems for approximately 1,100 square feet for the single level building and 2,100 square feet for the adjoining two story building roof areas.

The council unanimously approved a variance allowing AAA Tool and Die to add 10,000 square foot expansion for their building at 230 Obernuefemann Road. This overturned a zoning officer recommendation, requiring 10 of 14 aldermen approving. The vote was 12-0, with Aldermen Dan Witt, recovering from surgery, and Matthew Gilreath not present.

In other action, special event permits were approved for Korte Hammer Down Racing Team’s O’Fallon Grand Prix on Saturday, April 14, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for Relay for Life’s Paint the Town Purple signage on light and utility poles from May 26 to June 10.