Wednesday, November 30, 2011

STAR Bonds Project Developers Reveal New Name

The STAR Bonds development for Marion has a new name — Boulder Creek at The Hill.

Brad Holland released a statement earlier today that's been posted on the City of Marion's website.

"When people hear the name Boulder Creek at The Hill, we hope they will consider, not just the shopping, but the many outdoor activities Southern Illinois has to offer. In Colorado, Boulder Creek is a popular recreational spot for many outdoor activities. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of open space, nature preserves, world class hiking trails and bike trails. In Southern Illinois, we hope that Boulder Creek at the Hill will become a destination location where families embrace the many activities that will surround this retail and recreational complex."

Chad Holland is one of the two nephews of Bruce Holland, CEO of Holland Construction that's the lead developer in the project. It was he, and not his uncle, that announced Monday the selection of Ryan Companies as a partner in the developement.

Don't know if it matters, but the uncle's name is not to be found on the web pages for the project on the Holland website. The younger Hollands have been involved in both the Marion project as well its earlier Glen Carbon incarnation, University Town Center.

"One of our objectives is to promote tourism throughout the region. Southern Illinois has an existing and established tourism base," Brad Holland explained Wednesday, "It is our desire to expand upon and draw attention to what's already here."

My first reaction to the Colorado reference wasn't overwhemlingly positive, but I just remembered that our Garden of the Gods was named after the Colorado landmark as well. We've managed to make that our own and will have Camel Rock on a quarter come 2016.

Therefore, I don't see any problems with Boulder Creek, even if our boulders were those excavated by the site's long history of coal mining. That just ties in with the Southern Illinois Miners across the road.

View Marion STAR Bonds District in a larger map

The company website includes a brochure for the project which was presumably prepared last May and has not been updated with the new name.

The brochure does include a site plan, but it's unclear if it is a real plan, or just preliminary drawings. It looks like the retail will be pushed westward to run from Morgan to Longstreet on the north and from the interstate east to Carbon Street extended north to Longstreet. Another major store or single building is planned for the area north of Menards on the west side of the interstate.

Not shown is an entertainment user, one of the necessary factors to get the STAR Bonds organized. It would presumably sit on land between Carbon and Russell, as well as the part of the development east of Russell.

There are pictures of the original Illinois Centre Mall project in City Hall and the mall office. The whole mall got turned around by the time it was built, so these plans will likely change as well.

One of the interesting tidbits in the brochure for the development — the Marion Menards is in the top 10 percent of all the Menards stores nationwide.

The Southern online has their version of the news release.


Tim said...

What do you think the Entertainment attraction will be? With a name like Boulder Creek, I am thinking water park.

Jon Musgrave said...

It will have to be more than a water park to draw in the tourists to support the retail. Plus, an indoor water park is the feature for a Great Wolf Lodge. Whether they are coming or not, that type of facility would fall under the destination hotel category.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your fantastic coverage of this situation. You are providing much more information than the newspapers and your information is much more timely, as well.

I am wondering how you would "characterize" the Ryan Companies US, Inc.'s role in this development. Is this organization taking over the entire development and future operation of "Boulder Creek" or are they only doing a small part of the development of this property?

The Ryan website describes a company that routinely does everything....soup to nuts....and they also apparently get into the business of start to finish development for their own account on leased land.

Any light that you can shed on this entire matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Jon Musgrave said...

That's the big question. Holland had been struggling to find a co-developer on the project with the heft to help with the financing.

Apparently they had been trying to get the city to act as co-developer and underwrite more of the project.

What no one has been asking is what relationship Ryan Companies will have to the project. All of the quotes from Brad Holland you've seen in the papers are straight from the news releases which have been headlined as simply statements.

The statement Monday, which actually had been written a week earlier, only mentioned that the Hollands had hired Ryan Companies. The release didn't go into any detail as to what their actual relationship would be.

Holland remains the lead developer I believe, because the legislation for STAR bonds had a definite time frame for starting. He's locked in to the role. Co-developers could come and go. Just how big a role they could play could vary considerably.