O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon City Council continues weighing major economic development projects

Two major economic development projects, the Mid America Commerce Center and The Shops at Richland Creek, have cleared a few hurdles but more work is to come, after the O’Fallon City Council on Monday approved items for the targeted properties.

A public hearing has been set for July 1 on the approved plan for the proposed Central Park/Green Mount Business District and the proposed development The Shops at Richland Creek.

The 17.23-acre mixed use development, located on the southwest corner of Green Mount Road and Central Park Drive, extends south to include frontage on Frank Scott Parkway.

Geren Moore of Franklin Land Associates has asked for the creation of a business district, which will allow the developer to collect up to an additional 1 percent sales tax within the development. This is an additional tax on retail goods above and beyond what is currently collected in the city and is not a sales tax rebate.

If the council approves it July 1, it would be up for adoption July 15. That would include approval of the planned use zoning, creation of the 1 percent business district, and approval of the redevelopment agreement for the TIF incentive and the business district.

Moore has requested approval for rezoning from Commercial Business District to Planned Commercial Business District. The initial phase includes three buildings, totaling 17,800 square feet of retail and restaurant development on one lot. The remaining seven lots would be for various other retail, hospitality and service-type uses.

The Commercial Development Committee has asked the developer to attend its meeting Monday with suggestions for improving cross access and site circulation.

The site includes providing a public street connecting Frank Scott Parkway to Central Park Drive, with a signalized intersection at both Frank Scott Road and Central Park Drive. The development will also construct private drives to provide access to the other seven lots associated with The Shops at Richland Creek, including a right-in, right-out on Central Park Drive and cross-access to the retail strip center and the Bank of Edwardsville/Busey Bank lots along Green Mount Road.

“The planned tenants are not public information at this time. However, I am confident that when announced, there will be excitement,” Mayor Herb Roach said.

No one objected to the preliminary plat for the first phase of Mid America Commerce Center — eight lots on 166 acres that will be used for a light industrial warehouse on Rieder Road, off Interstate 64, Exit 21, and east of Illinois 158. It had been recommended by the city’s Planning Commission and staffs, with several variances.

Streets 38-foot wide with an 8-foot shoulder and ditches were OK’d, as was the shoulder filling the sidewalk requirement. A variance to allow trailer parking areas to remove the required landscape island every 20 parking spaces was approved.

The site includes providing public streets a loop through the development off Shiloh Valley Township Road, with the potential for a future connection to Rieder Road.

The eight proposed lots range from 15.54 acres to 26.33 acres. The warehouses proposed on the lots range in size from 190,000 square feet (4.36 acres) to 323,750 square feet (7.43 acres).

A sewer line is now in the works to service the annexed area.

TriStar Property, which developed the distribution park Gateway Commerce Center in Pontoon Beach and Edwardsville, will develop more than 200 acres near Rieder and Shiloh Valley Township Roads. Applicant Bobby Klucker of TriStar received ordinance approval, with the remaining 34 acres to be zoned and developed later.

The council adopted rezoning the property from agriculture industry district in St. Clair County to planned industrial district in O’Fallon.

Previously, the mayor said this area will bring jobs and tax dollars, and could create a reliable non-residential tax base, which is good news to homeowners in O’Fallon.

“We have worked with our school districts and other taxing bodies to help create opportunities in the area that will help build long-term success for the O’Fallon area,” Roach said.

Other council action

In other action, the council approved a redevelopment agreement with Alexander and Natalie James so they can renovate an existing building at 111-115 W. State St. to create multiple retail/office spaces for leasing.

The council also approved a special event permit so Relay For Life of St. Clair County can include food trucks at their event Saturday at O’Fallon Township High School.

Mandie Ernst asked for permission now that the city is regulating food trucks. The yearly event to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those lost to cancer and raise money for cancer research includes a silent auction, games and walking to raise money.

The staff recommended all food trucks be required to get special event coupons from Illinois Department of Revenue so the appropriate sales tax collected and remitted to the state is coded to O’Fallon as well as insuring they are remitting the 1 percent food and beverage tax to the city. All food trucks invited will be required to have a food delivery license through the city through the City Clerk’s Office.

The mayor announced evening hours from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to noon June 29 at city hall.

He congratulated Russ Thoman for being elected as the chair for the Fire and Police Commission. Calvin Brown was appointed to the Fire and Police Commission.

During the public hearing portion, comments were made by Daniel Matarazzo, owner of the Post Pack & Ship in O’Fallon, for the city to insure audio is recorded along with video at meetings, for it has been a problem in the past that the audio is missing.

Joshua Jenkins, who has appeared at meetings the past two months, asked the city talk to him about his complaints regarding transparency of the police department and other city issues.