O'Fallon Will Lead the Region Into the Future

Job Creation is on the Horizon

A community visited by fortune unlike almost any other in Metro East in the last 20 years could reap the benefits of more to come because of its location.

O’Fallon and St. Clair County are banking heavily on growth in the corridor marked by the empty land around and between two Interstate 64 exits. One is Exit 19, the access for Illinois Route 158, the main way into Scott Air Force Base, Southwestern Illinois’ biggest employer. The other is new Exit 21 at Rieder Road, about two miles to the east, another way into the air base and to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

“We are looking at the next large push being transportation, logistics and manufacturing, particular with Exit 19 and the new Exit 21, which is essentially going to be the new front door to Scott Air Force Base,” Assistant City Administrator Grant Litteken said. “We’ve got 600 acres on the north side of the interstate that we are working feverishly to get infrastructure in, and working with some prospects now to develop that area.”

He added: “It’s a 20-year buildout horizon and we are looking long term.”

It cost more than $36 million for St. Clair County to build the Rieder interchange (mostly state money), which will serve development north and south of the interstate. The project included three miles of widening of Interstate 64 to a six-lane roadway and replacing the existing two-lane Rieder Road Bridge over Interstate 64 with an 80-foot wide bridge that is able to accommodate the projected traffic volumes at the interchange. The interchange also includes lighting and signalized intersections.

Several auxiliary roads have been or will be improved as part of the vision, including Rieder Road, Shiloh Valley Township Road and Wherry Road.

Shiloh Valley Township Road is a frontage road that connects the two interchanges on the north side of the interstate.

St. Clair County has about 125 acres north of the interchange, and another 5,800 acres to the south. Once, the county had dreams of putting the new, multi-billion-dollar National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency project on the south side, but lost out to St. Louis.

Terry Beach, economic development director of St. Clair County, recently talked about some of the county’s plans in one of his periodic email updates.

“We are also excited about pending and future developments at and near the new I-64 Exit 21 at Rieder Road,” he wrote. “The County Board recently approved selling 15 acres (of its 125 acres on the north side) to Bobcat of St. Louis. They will be building a new store (sales, service, parts, etc.) there. And that site is located in a state-certified Enterprise Zone administered locally by us.”

Bobcat is currently on a smaller, 3- to 4-acre site in Fairview Heights “so this was a retention project for us since they were considering an out-of-county option. They approached us,” Beach said.

To read the rest of the article, please go to https://www.ibjonline.com/past-issues/2019-issues/january-2019/8953-o-fallon-s-front-door-eyed-as-next-generation-of-economic-expansion


Originally published in the Illinois Business Journal January 2019 Year in Review.

“This area at Exit 21, is going to be competing with not just the St. Louis market but Kansas City, Indianapolis, Memphis and the Nashville's of the world,”
Ted Shekell
O'Fallon Community Development Director
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