Contegra Construction Awarded ‘Business of the Year’

2018  |  Edwardsville had a record-breaking $248 million in new construction last year, and is poised to continue with a number of new projects this year, according to Mayor Hal Patton.

Patton talked about the city’s economic development at its annual Business Forecast Breakfast on Tuesday morning at Lewis and Clark Community College’s N.O. Nelson Campus.

About 250 people attended. In addition to discussion about projects in the city, the “Business of the Year” award was given to Contegra Construction and two economists talked about the coming year.

Patton noted that the city issued 1,246 construction permits in 2018.

“Some communities would have been happy with a dozen permits,” he said.

He cited numerous Contegra Construction projects, ranging from several warehouses under construction for World Wide Technology to a number of residential and mixed-use development projects.

Patton also discussed road and other infrastructure projects, and upcoming developments including the 5-story Gori Julian building and plans for a mixed-use development on the county-owned Plum Street Property.

Also speaking were Timothy S. Sullivan, an instructor in SIUE’s Department of Economics and Finance; and Charles S. Gascon, regional economist and senior coordinator in the research division at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

They both said that the area’s economy was coming off of a very good year for growth. While growth will probably be slower in 2019, both said at this point the chance of recession is slight but there are some things that investors should keep an eye on.

In announcing the 2018 Business of the Year Award, Patton said Contegra Construction plays “a significant role in driving the economic growth of the area, accounting for about 48 percent of new construction in 2018” within the city.

Patton said there is more than that to the company.

“It’s not just how much you produce or how much you construct, but it’s how much you do for the community,” he said.

“We’ve been in Edwardsville 15 years now, and I can’t think of a better place to invest our money,” said Contegra Construction President Eric Gowin.

After the event, Edwardsville Economic Development Director Walter Williams said the annual meeting is “part of our community building process.”

“When you allow local investors to understand how our economy works they make better decisions,” he said. “Our economy is different, we don’t have the ebbs and flows of the national economy. But if you just listen to the nation you get the wrong impression, so we have this event each year to make sure local investors are aware of how well our local economy is doing.”

He agreed 2018 was a good year for economic development in the city.

“The mayor has always emphasized, when you get local investors to invest, it attracts national investors,” he said.

He noted something Patton touched on, that there had been $16 million in new investment in the downtown area.

“Why is that important? Because 95 percent of those investments are from local people,” he said.

He described the downtown area as the “front door to the community,” saying investors will take a close look at the downtown area when deciding to come to an area.