William Russell, the Jerseyville mayor.

JERSEYVILLE – A first for the state is also a first for the St. Louis Metro-East region, as Illinois designates a major economic development project located in rural Jersey County, Illinois to be among 16 “Super Sites.”

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As a part of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s newly introduced initiatives, the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently reviewed 19 applications before selecting 16 community economic development projects as Illinois’ first designated Super Sites.

One Jerseyville-based major industrial development project was among those 16.

Stonemont Financial Group, an Atlanta, Ga.-based investment firm, has been working with Jerseyville Economic Development Council, Inc. and Kansas City Southern Rail in bringing the much-anticipated development known as Mid-American International Gateway Business Park to the St. Louis metropolitan region.

The state recently announced that this site had been chosen to be among the 16 Illinois’ first-designated Super Sites.

This major industrial development project is in Jersey County, Illinois, just outside Jerseyville’s city limits on U.S. Highway 67’s southeast side at Crystal Lake Road. The site encompasses approximately 1,600 acres, with roughly 1,200 acres being developed.

So, what does this designation mean? What impact does it have on the Jersey County-based major industrial development project, the community and its residents?

David Pierson with Illinois’ DCEO provided some further insight:

“The purpose of the Illinois Super Sites program is to provide a statewide inventory of very large industrial sites that meet a consistent set of standards. The program reduces the risk associated with development by providing detailed and current information about a site including availability, utilities and access. Super Sites are listed on the Illinois Department of Commerce web site, as well as on local economic development web sites.

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“The designation improves the odds of attracting site selectors seeking locations for major industrial projects. Successfully attracting a major industrial project to a community means the creation of good-paying jobs for the area,” Pierson added.

“Large industrial projects typically include a significant manufacturing component, which could help support local businesses that supply materials or offer other professional services. Landing a large manufacturing project can result in the establishment of a more vibrant, economically-secure community,” he said further.

Pierson serves as the statewide site selection coordinator within Illinois’ DCEO Office of Business Development.

After receiving this designation, Stonemont CEO and Managing Principal William “Zack” Markwell said, “Stonemont is thrilled to see the Mid-American International Gateway Business Park designated as an Illinois Super Site. This designation further validates the potential that our firm saw for this project at the inception.

“Projects of this size and scope require many pieces to come together for success,” added Markwell. “Stonemont stands dedicated to providing the capital needed to make it happen. Now with the Super Site designation, site selectors across the globe will know the project stands ready for business. The roads and infrastructure are the final pieces of the complex puzzle that is being put together.”

“We are very excited to have the national and international visibility that this designation provides,” he said further. “To keep up with the economic demands, site selection firms for large corporations across the globe are required to move at unprecedented speed today. Without the State’s ‘Super Site’ stamp of approval, sites often get passed over.”

“Our firm doesn’t invest in projects; we invest in people and communities. This designation allows the residents of Jersey County and the surrounding region to now wave a flag to global corporations looking for a new home. We are extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication of Jerseyville’s Mayor (Bill) Russell, JEDC Director Shari Albrecht and the entire JEDC board to achieve this great designation,” Markwell further noted.

Pierson said that the Illinois Super Sites designation began with a request for sites in March 2019. Specific criteria had to be met by site applicants, determined based on input from utility, rail and major port partners. Illinois communities were required to submit their proposals by April 5, 2019 and the inaugural group of Illinois Super Sites was determined later in April.

For more information about the Illinois Super Sites program, visit the DCEO web site at illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/IllinoisSuperSites.aspx or contact Pierson at (312) 814-1346, david.pierson@illinois.gov.

To learn more about the Mid-American International Gateway Business Park development, contact JEDC Director Shari Albrecht at (618) 639-5332, sharialbrecht@jedc-il.us.

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