Dec. 13--GLEN CARBON -- A new 73-room hotel in Glen Carbon is expected to spur commercial development along Illinois 157 near Interstate 270.
"That's a very logical spot for continuing commercial development," said Mike Pierceall, executive director of TheAlliance of Edwardsville & Glen Carbon. "There has been planning for a number of years to get that area ready for development."
At 7 p.m. today, the Glen Carbon Village Board of Trustees is expected to vote on the final site plan for the Hampton Inn & Suites. The hotel, estimated to cost $4.5 million, will be located on Heritage Crossing Drive, a new road built on the east side of Illinois 157 across from The Game Drive.
GC Hotel Group LLC wants to build a 50,000-square-foot hotel, with 30 percent of the rooms being suites.
Currently, the only hotel in the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon area is the Comfort Inn, located farther east on Illinois 157 in Glen Carbon.
"I think that it's just been an overlooked area of opportunity," said Kevin Jones, a spokesman for the group developing the hotel. "We're hoping that by putting this hotel there it will help kick-start the commercial development in that area."
Jones said the hotel site was chosen because of its visibility to the interstate and its traffic volume. Crews have already been working to clear land in the area.
The new road for the hotel also has two available lots on the front of the property along Illinois 157 for potential restaurant sites. Jones said the developers have received inquiries, but nothing has been signed yet
Jones said the project has been in the works for nearly three years.
Another developer, Jamie Wilkinson, has had a hand in several pending projects nearby.
"I think it is going to grow," Wilkinson said. "We are buying property down there with that anticipation."
Plans include the construction of a three-story office building, a Paul Mitchell Beauty School and possibly the relocation of Montclaire Bowl.
"I think that area will boom overnight," Wilkinson said. "I think there will be enough draw down there to bring more businesses."
Wilkinson also has another site plan up for approval tonight before the board for Old Town Square, a strip shopping mall, on Main Street in Old Town Glen Carbon.
The plans have been on hold for nearly two years while the site has been inspected by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for soil contamination caused by a former garage.
"I think that the Old Town area is also in need of something to jump-start it," said Wilkinson, who plans on using one of the three available spaces to relocate his own business.
Wilkinson is also the contractor building Miner Square, another strip shopping center, in Old Town on Main Street and Meridian Road.
(Belleville News-Democrat (IL) (KRT) -- 12/14/05)