EDWARDSVILLE – Spirits were high Tuesday morning at the Edwardsville 2017 Business Forecast Breakfast at Wildey Theatre, reflecting on a sensational year in 2016 and a strong outlook ahead for this year.
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton started the meeting off on positive note about how 2016 was an incredible year for the city of Edwardsville and the area. Patton was followed by Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler and Cathy Hamilton of BARBERMurphy Group, the moderator.
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Madison County Community Development Director Kristen Poshard provided insight to the 2017 prospects. Dr. Timothy Sullivan of SIUE then gave national and local economic outlook, Mike Hurley, of Balke Brown Transwestern did a presentation on the market analysis for Class A Office Space Outlook in Edwardsville. A Realtors’ Roundtable followed with questions and answers was positioned at the end of the breakfast.
Edwardsville Economic/Community Development Director Walt Williams organized the Business Forecast and was commended by Mayor Patton and the others for those efforts.
“We had a record year of job creation and investment in Downtown Edwardsville,” Patton said reflecting on 2016. “Business is trending up and we made a lot of progress with infrastructure improvements.”
Patton discussed the two spec buildings that were created in the Gateway Commerce Center, one housing the new Amazon distribution business. The mayor also mentioned First to the Finish and Prairie Farms locating headquarters in Edwardsville. He then explained other large projects - the new SIUE Fire Station construction, the new Public Safety Building on Main Street in Edwardsville and Madison County Mutual Insurance Company occupying two floors of the new Park Plaza in Downtown Edwardsville.
Patton said the various construction projects created thousands of jobs and over 1,300 permanent jobs, valued at $154 million to Edwardsville.
Poshard said the Gateway Commerce Center area is one of the hottest places to do business throughout the entire region and country. She said creating the logistics enterprise zone has generated a new tax base with transportation jobs and the future looks bright there and throughout Madison County with a changing workforce.
Patton's final words summed up his prime mission since becoming mayor: "Edwardsville is a place where you can live, work and play" his emphasis during his administration.
J.K. Electric was named the Business of the Year honor at the annual breakfast.
Stories on J.K. Electric, and presentations by Sullivan and Hurley to come.
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