All Economy Content

All Economy Content

Urbana business building nearly full

URBANA — The three-story building at Lincoln and University avenues in Urbana is almost entirely leased, now that a new tenant has signed on.

The Renal Research Institute has leased space on the third floor of the building at 901 W. University Ave., U, said David Cocagne, president and CEO of Vermilion Development, the building's developer.

Rantoul bested Texas for new distribution site

CHAMPAIGN — Rantoul's chief competition for the new Easton-Bell distribution center came from the state of Texas, the outgoing CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. said.

John Dimit told the economic development group's board of directors Wednesday that in vying with Texas, the state of Illinois and Rantoul  "met and exceeded the competition."

Ameren below average in customer satisfaction

PEORIA — Ameren Illinois, the main electric utility company for downstate Illinois, again finished below the national average in a ranking of customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.

The Peoria-based utility, which serves the Champaign-Urbana and Danville areas, ranked 97th of the 126 largest electric utility companies in the country.

Local economic development group hires new CEO

CHAMPAIGN — Mike Kirchhoff has been hired as the chief executive officer of the Champaign County Economic Development Corp., succeeding John Dimit.

Kirchhoff's appointment takes effect Aug. 1, and Dimit will remain on staff through the end of August.

Rantoul business incubator set to open

RANTOUL — The Rantoul Business Incubator will have its grand opening Thursday at the Rantoul Business Center, 601 S. Century Blvd.

The event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with tours, demonstrations and refreshments.

Easton-Bell plans local expansion, pending village OK

RANTOUL — Easton-Bell Sports, one of the leading manufacturers of sporting-goods equipment and apparel, wants to expand its base of operations to a proposed facility west of Interstate 57 in Rantoul.

But Rantoul would have to create a special taxing district and give three-fourths of the money it generates to the company. Still, village officials applauded the proposal Tuesday.

Open Prairie strengthens ties with Michigan fund

EFFINGHAM — Effingham-based Open Prairie Ventures is increasing its ties with a venture fund based in southwest Michigan.

Under the new arrangement, Open Prairie Ventures will assume a management/advisory role for the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund.

Rantoul holds hearing on annexation of proposed distribution center

RANTOUL — The village board held a brief public hearing this week about an annexation agreement for property west of Interstate 57 that could house a new 800,000-square-foot distribution center

Ken Beth, village attorney, explained the agreement for the project dubbed Project Gravity.

Tilton gets grocery store for first time in years

TILTON — Tammy Watson has been waiting for the opening of the new Tilton County Market for a long time — close to nine years.

That's almost how long it has been since the Tilton resident has had a grocery store in her hometown.

Home sales strengthen in much of area

Champaign County home sales enjoyed another strong month in May, with the number of sales surging 26 percent from the previous May.

Figures from the Champaign County Association of Realtors indicate 260 home sales closed in May, up from 206 a year earlier.

The value of those sales was $40.9 million, up from $30.6 million a year ago — an increase of 34 percent.