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.