Poststory

From The St. Louis Post Dispatch….
Posted: Friday, September 24, 1999 | 9:28 a.m.

Greenville, Ill., hopes to lure St. Louis companies to
bigger industrial park

By Shera Dalin
Of The Post-Dispatch

“Some of those businesses might find it easier to (ship products) south or west from the cornfields of Greenville.”

The city of Greenville, Ill., is hoping to lure St. Louis’ space-crunched industrial and warehousing companies to its newly expanded business and industrial park about 45 miles east.

The Greenville/Smithboro Business and Industrial Park recently grew by 800 acres to just over 1,000 acres. It includes 600 acres in Greenville’s enterprise zone, and plans for a new short-line railroad to connect with the CSX and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads.

Greenville’s City Manager Mark Cundiff said the city will target industrial companies nationally and those in St. Louis that need to expand.

“We don’t want to steal businesses, but if they want to expand, we’d like to show them why Greenville, Ill., would be a good place for them,” Cundiff said Wednesday. “Some of those businesses might find it easier to (ship products) south or west from the cornfields of Greenville.”

Because of the short line and planned rail spurs, the park is suited for industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and shipping companies, Cundiff said. Cost will range from $6,000 to $16,000 an acre.

“But it’s negotiable, depending on the amount of land you are going to buy and the number of employees that you hire,” Cundiff said.

Cundiff said there is no way to determine how many new businesses will locate in the park. Its original Wolf Business Park is home to United Stationers, an office supply warehouse and distribution company, and Carlyle SynTec, a rubber roof manufacturer.

The park is being considered by another company that Cundiff declined to name. The venture would bring 40 to 60 jobs and construction of a new facility. An announcement could come within 30 to 60 days, Cundiff said.

Cundiff hopes that businesses will be attracted to the park because of the accessibility to Interstate 70, the two rail lines and a short-line railroad being built by Illinois Western’s Charles Barenfanger – only the second short line to begin operations in Southern Illinois in decades. The other is a Barenfanger venture at an industrial park in Effingham.

“When you look at some industrial parks in other areas, they don’t have rail access. It really provides another option for the companies to develop and to ship by rail,” Cundiff said.

Groundbreaking for a railroad overpass into the park from U.S. 40 is planned for 2001. It will be paid for with $2.8 million in Illinois First infrastructure funds.

A tree-lined boulevard will run through the entrance of the development, making an attractive site for office buildings or light industrial facilities, Cundiff said.

“We hope that we are going to get quality businesses to come in here,” he said.