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Madison County continues to see growth at Gateway Commerce Center

Article Courtesy Advantage News

EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County is seeing more growth at Gateway Commerce Center.

“There is so much going on at Gateway,” County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “The area just keeps growing.”

Prenzler, along with other county leaders  — Director of Community Development Trudy Bodenbach and Director of Employment and Training Tony Fuhrmann —  toured the industrial and logistics area last week and got to see a newly constructed spec building as well as learn about potential new tenants and the expansion of others.

Representatives with Contegra Construction Co. showed officials the 594,000-square-foot spec building it put up, along with the Royal Canin facility it built.

Gateway Commerce Center was the vision of TriStar Properties.

“Just think, it’s been 20 years since the first distribution center opened,” Prenzler said. “The land had a few farmers working the ground before, then Dial Corp opened with a few hundred employees and now there are 6,500 employees who commute to work every day.”

Gateway has around 13 million square feet of space on 2,300 acres of land.

Prenzler said this marked his second tour of the area. He said he visited an Amazon “fulfillment center” last year.

“Madison County has become a place where companies want to locate because of its location,” he said.

James Arnold, program coordinator with Madison County Community Development, works with economic development for the county. He said most of the buildings at Gateway were constructed for specific clients. He said the spec building county officials toured last week does not yet have a client, but he doesn’t see it taking long to get one.

“The chairman and others learned there is new growth that’s set to take place at Gateway,” Arnold said.

He said they were told Dart Transit is set to open a transportation and logistics facility in March and at least two other companies were planning expansions.

Bodenbach said it was her first time touring Gateway, and the economic growth and the area’s potential for more is remarkable.

“Amazon locating there really upped the ante for workers as well,” Fuhrmann said. “When they came in, they started paying their workers more than the other facilities, and now those places are offering their employees a higher pay.”

He said people want to work where they can earn a decent living, and companies at Gateway offer that.

In addition to Amazon and Dial, other tenants include GEODIS, DB Schenker, GENCO ATC, The Hershey Co., Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Proctor & Gamble, Save-A-Lot, Saddle Creek Logistics Services, Schneider National, Unilever, USF Logistics, Walgreens and Yazaki of North America.

CONTEGRA RANKS 89 IN TOP 150 PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES

The continued growth at Contegra has landed the company at the 89th spot of the Top 150 Privately Help Companies in St. Louis. The article in the St. Louis Business Journal can be seen below. You can also see the article on their website here.

Contegra Construction was able to grow its revenue from $135 million in 2015 to $223.1 million in 2016 due to the expansion of its industrial sector and by focusing its efforts on a growing need for manufacturing and industrial distribution warehouses in the region, according to Eric Gowin, a primary owner of the company.

“We targeted large projects with national developers,” Gowin said. “We also completed large multi-family projects both locally and on a national level, which significantly increased our revenue.”

In 2016, Contegra completed a large distribution center, called Gateway Commerce Center 717, in Edwardsville, Illinois. In addition, Contegra completed work on a 717,000-square-foot fulfillment center for Amazon in Edwardsville. Gowin declined to share the cost for either project.

Contegra also completed a 220,000-square-foot residential project called Bramblett Hills, in O’Fallon, Missouri, which includes 17 three-story buildings. Gowin declined to provide additional details.

Contegra also completed a $13 million project for the Metropolitan Sewer District, that included replacing scrubbers in two MSD wastewater treatment plants at Bissell and Lemay.

In 2017, the company will work on an expansion for Kuna Food Service in Dupo, Illinois; a new Bob’s Discount Furniture store in St. Ann, Missouri; and a redevelopment of the old Northwest Plaza property.

The Northwest Plaza property redevelopment includes 371,000 square feet of new retail building construction and a renovation of 807,000 square feet of existing space.

The company has four primary owners, Eric GowinBrad Barnard, Russ Henke and Dennis Araujo, but hopes to extend some ownership opportunities to the next generation of leaders at Contegra in the near future.

Add any jobs in 2016? Added one project executive, one project manager, three project engineers, two in administration and one superintendent.

Adding any jobs in 2017? One project engineer and one superintendent.

Local employees: 76

Total employees: 78

Leadership: Eric Gowin, primary member; Brad Barnard, Russ Henke and Dennis Araujo, members

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