By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Big manufacturing – more than $1 billion of it – is indeed coming to the St. Louis region, according to panelists who spoke at FreightWeekSTL 2023.
Plans by Good Development Group to invest $1.2 billion in developing the Gateway South Project on 100 acres adjacent to the Gateway Arch, says GDG partner Alec Jadacki, are well underway. The development will consist of three subdistricts: 1) a design and construction innovation district, 2) recreation and residential and 3) an entertainment district. Co-locating advanced modular manufacturers, he says, is the strategy.
“When you think ESG (environmental, social and governance), this is the future,” said Jadacki. “Reducing carbon and speeding up the construction process is the next generation of modular construction.”
Co-panelist Scott Willert, president of America’s Service Line LLC/America’s Logistics, says construction began last fall on an $800 million beef processing facility in Warren County, MO that will employ 1,300.
Tyson Foods is currently building a $228 million, 270,000-square-foot processing plant expansion in Caseyville, IL and plans to add robotic production lines and 400 workers, according to plant manager Christopher Rogers. The company also invested $48 million at its Caseyville plant over the past four years.
James Hardie Building Products will build a 1.25 million-square-foot facility in Crystal City, MO near Interstate 55, says Sean Parks, senior capacity manager. “Our research told us that there’s a robust labor market in and around Jefferson County,” he said.
Mary Lamie, executive vice president of multi modal enterprises for Bi-State Development, the St. Louis Regional Freightway’s operator, says these manufacturing firms share a common thread.
“You each represent different industries that have chosen to locate or expand in different parts of our region, but you all found a welcoming, collaborative environment, available and reliable workers and an abundance of land with excellent multimodal infrastructure needed to support your operations,” Lamie said.