Planners from Region 5 assembled in Alton, IL for the final in a series of post-2022 APA-IL Spring Conference Mobile Workshops at the AltonWorks headquarters, located in the heart of the City of Alton’s historic downtown business district. The multi-block area is anchored by the Wedge Innovation Center, a $21 million revitalization project that will transform a former bank building in the 600 block of East Broadway into an entrepreneurial and business accelerator, incubator, co-working space, and digital hub. Mobile workshop attendees learned about how the City and AltonWorks are working to retain the historic and iconic appearance of the Wedge structure and nearby buildings while incorporating technology and contemporary design options to create a functional space that supports state-of-the-art innovation. The project, which is projected to bring over 100 full-time jobs to the area, will house business startups, space for individuals or teams, and more established companies that want to accelerate their businesses or develop new technologies, products, or systems.
AltonWorks is also working with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to operate the Wedge and develop programs and services that meet the needs of the entrepreneur and business community, especially in the areas of applied science, research, and data analysis.
Workshop attendees then managed to dodge a few raindrops to walk the 4 block area and get a firsthand interior tour of the Grand Theater and Stratford Hotel buildings which are or will be undergoing revitalization/re-purposing as well. Finally, the crew headed over to the new Flock Food Truck Park for food, beverages, and a view of the Clark Bridge over the mighty Mississippi River.
Photos courtesy of Scott Hanson, AICP