America’s Central Port Closes on Financing for Warehouse Project

January 22, 2016
More Information:
Megan Dittman


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Rendering of new 100,000 square foot warehouse facility being constructed at America’s Central Port





Madison County, IL:
Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director or America’s Central Port, announced today the Port has closed on financing for the first phase of its warehouse expansion project.

The Port’s development plan calls for the construction of up to 1 million square feet of new, rail-served manufacturing and warehousing space on the site of the former U.S. Army Charles Melvin Price Support Center.  Since the base’s closure in 2000, the Port has been redeveloping the property as an intermodal business and industrial park.  To date, the Port has attracted over $350 million in new development.  This latest project includes the construction of a 100,000 square foot warehouse for an expanding Port tenant and a 26,000 square foot bulk storage building to support the Port’s new, public harbor facility.

Project financing included an $8.5 million allocation of New Market Tax Credits from Heartland Regional Investment Fund.  U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation is the tax credit investor, and Pulaski Bank is the lender.  Financing for the deal closed on December 31, 2015, and construction is already underway on the first warehouse building.  Construction of the bulk storage facility is scheduled to start this spring.

“We are grateful for the investments made by Heartland Regional Investment Fund, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and Pulaski Bank,” said Ben McCall, Senior Planner of America’s Central Port. “Their partnership was key to making this project a reality.  We’re excited to start the next phase of our redevelopment plan for the property and to be able to support the growth of a local business.”

Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said the warehouse expansion project is central to the expanding viability of the port.  “America’s Central Port is one of Madison County’s best resources for job creation and long-term economic prosperity.  The warehousing project will allow the port to meet the demands of businesses and developers looking to capitalize on the intermodal distribution capabilities at the port and at other locations in Madison County,” Dunstan stated.

America’s Central Port District manages a 1,200 acre intermodal business and industrial park in Madison and Granite City, Illinois, and has an annual economic impact of $282 million on Madison County. Its development territory is composed of over 200 square miles in western Madison and southern Jersey counties in Illinois.




America’s Central Port- A Best Kept Secret

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – It’s one of the best kept secrets in the St. Louis area, and area leaders are trying to change that. America’s Central Port District is where a host of transportation modes come together. Located north of downtown St. Louis, area leaders say the port is perfectly positioned to attract business from around the word. The location includes warehouse space and apartments.

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, the port’s executive director, says a recent study found America’s Central Port is more cost-effective at moving transportation than other cities fighting for the same businesses.

“We ranked as number one in terms of the lowest cost of transportation coming into and out of the St. Louis region,” Wilmsmeyer said.

Companies already invested in the port predict once the cost advantages are known, some major investing will follow. The port’s advantages include rivers that don’t freeze, as well as access to major railroads, airports, and a web of interstates.

“When they come in and see a facility like this to where there’s trucks, trains and the barges all right here, and there’s so many partners working together, it just gives them the confidence that their company will also be successful,” said Brad Reinhart, President of Giltner St. Louis.

Carl Yount, vice president of Port Harbor Railroad, has traveled the country, and feels America’s Central Port has advantages industry counterparts don’t even know about.

“A lot of facilities don’t offer where a rail could come in and place cars on one side, be unloaded, cross dock to the other side to trucks,” said Yount. “A lot of the network individuals I work with are not even aware of that.”

Reinhart and other port officials say they America’s Central Port District must do a better job of letting the rest of the world know about those advantages. The port is part of a newly formed freight district, hoping to attract more businesses to the region. Port leaders are trying to convince manufacturers they will save money if the locate their business in the district.

“If they’re going to have one distribution center in North America, have it in the center,” Wilmsmeyer said . “Have it in St. Louis.”

A recent study found the port’s annual economic impact on Madison County, Illinois is $282 million. It supports more than 1,000 jobs. The port recently celebrated an expansion and leaders say there is no telling how much growth is in the future, or how many new jobs could come to the area.

“There’s new businesses that have been opening up monthly here,” Reinhart said.

Port leaders believe investments in transportation infrastructure will pay off, especially given the built in advantages America’s Central Port District boasts.

America’s Central Port Dedicates South Harbor


Pictured from left to right in the above picture are: Illinois Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Christine Reed, Former Port Commissioner Joe Schuler, Port Commissioner and Venice Township Supervisor Andy Economy, Port Commissioner Charles King Jr., Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, Mayor of Madison and America’s Central Port Board Chairman John Hamm III, Executive Director of America’s Central Port Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Retired U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello, Senator William Haine, Representative Dan Beiser, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, Mayor of Alton and Port Commissioner Brant Walker, Mayor of Grafton and Port Commissioner Tom Thompson, Former Port Commissioner Melvin Wilmsmeyer, Tom Hewlett, Former Port District General Manager Velda Taylor, and Madison City Council Member Michael Vrabrec.

City of Madison, Ill., The Board of Commissioners and staff members at America’s Central Port welcomed state and local officials along with hundreds of business leaders for dedication of the South Harbor project today. The project constructed  9,600 feet of rail track, moved over one million cubic yards of dirt and used over 8,000 cubic yards of concrete to create a new rail/ truck/ barge terminal and general cargo barge dock.

“This is a great day for the City of Madison,” stated John Hamm III, Mayor of Madison, Illinois and current Board Chairman at America’s Central Port. “Today we celebrate the opportunities this project has created for the City of Madison, the Port District, and for the St. Louis region as a whole,” said Hamm.

The ceremony included speeches by Hamm, Madison County Board Chairman, Alan Dunstan, Illinois Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Christine Reed, and US Maritime Administrator, Paul “Chip” Jaenichen.

“For years Madison County and the Port District have partnered together to promote growth and transportation in the area,” said Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan. “With continued investments into our infrastructure, like those in the South Harbor, we are spurring future growth and job creation for Madison County.”

The new $50 million facility at America’s Central Port will increase the handling capabilities of Port operators to better accommodate the demands and needs of Midwest growers and shippers. Waterway shipping provides agricultural and industrial shippers a more economical rate structure that will allow them to better compete in the global market place.

The ceremony also highlighted a $2.3 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant for additional rail track work at the Port District that was announced on September 30th. The Port District also announced the additional construction of a new grain bin to complement the new grain terminal. Construction is expected to commence immediately.

The ceremony concluded with tours of the new conveyor system, a river tow boat and the City of Madison’s new fire boat.