Southern Illinois mayor open to having Sansone build in his city

Mapping out the space he thinks would be perfect for future development, Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel believes his city is ready for more retail.

"We are hungry for it," McDaniel said.

He said Paducah and McCracken County’s rejection of Sansone Group’s proposed 400,000 square foot shopping center could drive in more business across the river. "Unfortunately for us, we’re sitting in Paducah, Kentucky’s backdoor, which is great for Paducah. Not too good for us, as far as retail," he said. 

Unlike Paducah and McCracken County, McDaniel is willing to offer incentives because he has in the past —including for Harrah’s and a new Orthopedic Institute off Highway 45. Both are Tax Increment Financing districts, which generates new tax revenue that’s reinvested back into the project.

McDaniel said the city has the space. There’s more than 100 acres in the city’s industrial park ready for development. "We have water there. We have sewer there. We have electric there," McDaniel said, pointing out the potential for quick construction.

Jim Sansone, CEO of Sansone Group, said interest from other city’s started earlier this summer. "Certainly with the publicity that’s taken place in Paducah, we’ve had a lot of communities in the surrounding area call us and express their desire and their intent," Sansone told Local 6.

In a city known for gambling, McDaniel said he’d like to roll the dice if Sansone folds on its current proposal."If it’s not going to happen, we would certainly like to introduce an idea of something happening of that company out here locally," he said.

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