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Cottages at Cathedral Square Moving Forward in Belleville
Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies is preparing to construct the framework for Cottages at Cathedral Square in Belleville, a new $6 million residential community located in the city's downtown area. The project is expected to be complete in the Fall of 2015.
Cottages at Cathedral Square Moving Forward in Belleville
BELLEVILLE, IL, (, December 7, 2014 - Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies has announced that construction has recently begun on the long anticipated senior living community, Cottages at Cathedral Square in Belleville, Illinois.

The $6+ million, 32-unit residential community is bordered by South First Street, South Second Street, West Harrison Street, and West Garfield Street. Numerous homes were previously removed on this site along with a former pants factory that was demolished earlier this year in preparation for the new development. Cottages Limited Partnership of Chicago is developing the property, the plans for which were initially conceived by leaders of Cathedral parish.

Cottages at Cathedral Square will have five buildings totaling more than 31,000 square feet. The community's exterior, designed by EWR Associates of Fairview Heights, will reflect the old-school charm of Belleville yester-year. The property neighbors St. Peter's Cathedral and the McCormik Center, and is just two blocks from the St. Clair County Courthouse. Cottages at Cathedral Square is expected to serve as a strong anchor to help revitalize the neighborhoods around St. Peter's Cathedral.

In a release, Scott Manning, project manager for IMPACT Strategies, said, "Now that demolition and site work have been completed, we're able to start constructing the framework for the buildings. If the weather cooperates, we hope to get a number of buildings weather tight before the harsh winter weather sets in, which will allow us to continue work on the building interiors."

Construction on the Cottages at Cathedral Square is expected to be complete by September 2015. The project is one of several multi-housing and senior living projects built by IMPACT Strategies throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area, including Cedarhurst of Edwardsville; Cedarhurst of Shiloh; Amy's Crossing in Alton; Hospice of Southern Illinois Residence Center in Edwardsville, and Enclave West student housing community also in Edwardsville.

Illinois to Build Charging Station Network for Route 66 Electric Corridor
SPRINGFIELD, IL, (, November 30, 2014 - Illinois plans to invest $1 million to establish a network of charging stations for electric vehicles along historic Route 66 through Illinois. The network will support commuter and tourist driving for the growing electric vehicle (EV) sector. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to drive Illinois toward a sustainable future.

"We are building a 21st century infrastructure across Illinois and we need to make sure that it is sustainable for future generations," Governor Quinn said. "This new project exemplifies Illinois' place as the innovation capital of the Midwest, with cutting-edge business practices that create jobs and encourage sustainability."

The state has joined local governments and the private sector to create the Illinois Route 66 Electric Corridor, a partnership that connects communities along the 300-mile stretch from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River in the Metro East area with a network of high-power EV charging stations. The network will make it possible for EV drivers to travel between Chicago and St. Louis, two of the key urban markets for EVs in the nation.

The cities of Plainfield, Dwight, Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville and Edwardsville will each install one or more fast charging stations that are easily accessible from historic Route 66, allowing EV drivers to retrace its original pathway. Each of the seven charging points in the network will include one fast charging station capable of charging vehicles with either CHAdeMO or SAE connectors within 15-20 minutes and one level 2 (240/120 volt) charging station. Installation of the charging stations will begin this month, with targeted completion by summer 2015.

The project is supported by auto manufacturers, including BMW, Illinois-based Mitsubishi and Nissan, which is contributing the charging station to be installed in Edwardsville.

McKendree Metro Rec Plex
The new state-of-the art sports complex, called The McKendree Metro Rec Plex, will include two NHL-sized ice rinks, aquatic center, fitness area, and associated amenities. Rendering courtesy developer Dean Oelze.

New Ice Rink and Aquatic Center Proposed for O'Fallon, Illinois
O'FALLON, IL, (, November 5, 2014 - Real estate developer Dean Oelze, has announced that he is proposing a new commercial development to the City of O'Fallon, Illinois. Encompassing 45 acres at the corner of Scott Troy Road and Highway 50, the proposed development will be called The Four Points Center.

The Four Points Center will consist of recreational, retail, professional, and hospitality-oriented businesses and will be anchored by the developer's proposed recreational facility, McKendree Metro Rec Plex. This public facility will include two NHL-sized ice rinks, aquatic center, fitness area, and associated amenities.

McKendree Metro Rec Plex is expected to serve as a regional hub to host swimming, hockey and ice skating tournaments. The facility and its amenities will be open to the public with the purchase of a membership or daily admission. The aquatic center will include a competition pool with dive area and a zero-entry recreation pool. The recreation pool will also have four practice lanes and will be utilized for water aerobics classes and swim lessons. The fitness area will include a half court gymnasium, free weights, a walking track, and numerous pieces of cardio equipment. The sports complex will also have party rooms and conference facilities available for birthday parties or company retreats.

"The Four Points Center and McKendree Metro Rec Plex would be a wonderful addition to our city and community," said Mayor Gary L. Graham, City of O'Fallon. "We look forward to working with Dean Oelze and seeing this development move from an idea to a reality."

Core users of the McKendree Metro Rec Plex include McKendree University and the Southern Illinois IceHawks (SIIH). SIIH is a youth hockey organization for players ages 5-18, representing southern Illinois communities including O'Fallon, Shiloh, Belleville, Swansea, Fairview, Mascoutah, and many others. In addition to practicing and playing games, local teams intend to host tournaments at the sports complex.

"We are very excited to bring Southern Illinois IceHawks hockey back home to our communities and would like to thank the St. Louis Blues for sharing Scottrade Center with us this and past seasons, allowing youth hockey to remain strong in our area. We look forward to making this new rink our permanent home going forward," said Pat McLeod, President of the Southern Illinois IceHawks. "A new, two-sheet facility will allow SIIH to restart Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs. These programs are the gateway to introducing children to ice-related sports, which they currently have limited access to."

McKendree University will use the facility to host their existing men's hockey team as well as a new women's team and a second men's team. These teams will practice, play, and host tournaments at the sports complex.

The aquatic center will become the home of future water sports at McKendree University. These new sports will include swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming. The pool is expected to regularly host regional swimming and diving events at the collegiate and club level. The facility will also serve as a year-round facility for competitive swimming programs for all ages.

"We are very excited about the McKendree Metro Rec Plex and the many opportunities it will provide McKendree University to expand and develop women's and men's NCAA water sports, and ice hockey programs. In addition, the Rec Plex will allow us to offer a wide variety of recreational activities to our students, faculty and staff," said James M. Dennis, President of McKendree University. "This new venture has allowed the developer, McKendree University, the City of O'Fallon, and the Ice Hawks to partner on an important venture that will benefit all of the principle parties and the greater population in this region."

Construction could begin late this year, barring any complications, and is expected to take eight to 12 months. It will create numerous permanent jobs following each phase of development, as well as hundreds of temporary construction jobs.

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