O’Fallon’s Ideas for Developing Land Near New I-64 Exit

By on February 6, 2018

From Belleville News-Democrat:  A recent study by a non-profit research institute suggests a swath of land near Scott Air Force Base originally intended for an intelligence agency campus could still be developed into a diverse business park.

There are two sections of land potentially available for development — one privately owned section to the north of Interstate 64 and one owned by the county just south of the interstate by the Air Force base, both roughly 1,500 acres in size.

The study by the Urban Land Institute of St. Louis examined what types of business would be appropriate for the northern section, which would be annexed by O’Fallon. It suggests light industrial operations, geospatial technology companies, and warehousing and distribution could eventually call the northern section home. The city paid $7,500 for the study.

Read the full report here.

The state of Illinois and local governments vied to attract the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2016 to the land near Scott Air Force Base, going so far as to build a dedicated interstate interchange. The agency eventually settled for a location in North St. Louis City.

Despite losing the bid, the potential of the real estate near the base and the brand new interchange mean the land is still “one of the most valuable assets in the area,” says O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach. Bringing in new types of industry would also diversify and strengthen the local economy, which is mainly reliant on retail, restaurants and hotels. If there’s a downturn in one market, the mayor said, the other could pick up the slack.

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