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Metro East developer abandons Marion project

Metro East developer abandons Marion project

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The Metro East developer that planned to transform Marion into a destination development has abandoned the project.

Bruce Holland of Millennium Development LLC resigned from the STAR Bond project in a letter to city officials Monday, according to Mayor Bob Butler.

The letter, a short one paragraph, gave no explanation as to why the developer was walking away, said Butler.

The loss of Holland and Millennium Development is a disappointment, but not the end of the project.

“It’s a disappointment that things haven’t developed,” Butler said. “Mr. Holland has had two years and we haven’t seen any real result.”

Messages left with Millennium Development were not returned Monday.

Butler said the city has another developer seriously considering taking over the project. An official decision could be made in the next 10 days to two weeks Butler said.

Monday’s development is the first news of any movement on the project in months.

In June 2010 Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation establishing Illinois’ first STAR Bond district, but since that day news of Star Bond development had slowed to a trickle.

The project was first brought to Marion in early May 2010 by Holland and Millennium Development LLC after the project, which was originally slated for the Metro East, fell apart when Metro East mayors near Glen Carbon rejected the idea of diverting sales tax revenue to cover development costs. Developers and supporters of the project have maintained that the thousands of construction and permanent jobs created would offset potential issues.

The project came with a $382 million estimated price tag, but was expected to create at least 4,100 jobs during construction and more than 1,300 full time jobs post construction. By drawing from a potential pool of 20 million people within a 250-mile radius, the overall economic impact of the project is estimated at more than $750 million.

In November 2011 developers announced the STAR Bond Destination Development would be known as Boulder Creek at The Hill. At the time Chad Holland of Millennium Development said developers wanted to promote and expand existing tourism throughout the region.

The clock on the project has been ticking since Oct. 27, 2010 when the department of revenue signed off on the project. Millennium would have had three years to commence work on the project otherwise face losing funding, which in the case of Boulder Creek would have been sale tax revenue to cover development costs.



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