The City of Greenville will be moving forward on a new downtown pavilion with a stage and bandstand to accommodate music and theatrical events thanks to the announcement of the city being awarded a $1.9 million state grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The Greenville Plaza Project will also include a welcome center, public restrooms, ADA-accessible ramps, and outdoor seating for dining and public events. The public plaza is a 100% municipal project and will cost $2.5 million. The state grant of $1.9 million under the competitive Downtowns and Illinois Main Streets Capital Program will be joined by a local match of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, City funds and potential legacy gifts, to fund 20-25% (or $625,000) of the project. The construction effort will create dozens of jobs for skilled carpenters, electricians, operators, iron workers, laborers, cement masons and other high-quality tradespeople.

“I want to thank Governor Pritzker and the state for recognizing the tremendous positive growth happening in Greenville,” said Mayor George Barber. “Also, I want to thank the many people who wrote support letters for the project, including many local officials and businesspeople, Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, Senator Jason Plummer, Rep. Charlie Meier, and the Southwestern Illinois Building and Trades Council.

“This Greenville Plaza project will result in several new restaurants and businesses in the downtown area,” Barber said. “It will attract local residents, students and those from outside the community to come to the plaza for events while also fulfilling a critical component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan."

Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) developed the new $50 million Downtowns and Illinois Main Streets Capital Program to bring forward investments to revitalize commercial corridors and main street areas statewide. The program provides grants to communities across the state for construction, repair and For Immediate Release modernization of public infrastructure and amenities to boost jobs, improve quality of life and stimulate economic activity for areas hit hardest during COVID-19.

The project will be led by experienced developer Charles McPherson of CMI General Contractors, a graduate of Greenville University in Greenville. Since 1971, CMI has been providing quality design/build services on major projects.

While Greenville has suffered high unemployment and loss of some businesses during the pandemic, the downtown Plaza project will help enhance the city’s rapid efforts to create development, including:

* TIF extension -- The Governor signed Greenville’s Downtown Tax Increment Financing district extension last year.

*  Opportunity Zone – The census track for the project is located an Illinois Opportunity Zone, which qualifies for financial assistance.

* Central location – There is a major university – Greenville University – a few blocks away and a hospital nearby.

The project is one of several recent victories for the City of Greenville in winning state and federal grants. Congressman Rodney Davis recently announced that the City’s request for $750,000 in federal funding for a new water treatment facility had been approved by the House Appropriations Committee. Earlier this year, Greenville also won a $2 million grant for the water treatment facility from the state’s Rebuild Illinois Public Infrastructure (RIPI) Capital Program.

Mayor Barber states the project will also enhance diversity efforts in Greenville by including multicultural events annually celebrating the rich diversity of the city and Greenville University students; and by highlighting the Underground Railroad locations in the city.