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Business and Economic Profile

As one of the largest economies in the St. Louis region and the state of Missouri, St. Charles County has proven itself to be a dynamic and attractive community for businesses of all sizes, from global giants to local entrepreneurs.

Crucial to the area’s success are business-friendly principles such as lower tax rates, competitive operational costs, highly skilled workforce, proximity to important markets, first-rate infrastructure, low cost of living and abundant local amenities.

For decades, this award-winning area has been investing community capital to foster excellence in public and higher education, create more than 23,000 acres of public parkland and other recreational facilities, and provide more than $500 million in local transportation infrastructure improvements.

Thanks in part to this concentrated focus on pursuing progress, St. Charles County has a lot of new commercial development completed or under construction in 2017. During first-quarter 2017, the community’s unemployment rate was also impressive, falling to 3.2 percent.

Some of the largest business projects under construction or recently completed in the community include the 614,000-square-foot expansion of General Motors Wentzville assembly plant, a 1.13 million-square-foot warehouse and subassembly facility near the General Motors assembly plant constructed by NorthPoint Development, Reckitt Benckiser’s new 715,000-square-foot warehouse and Best Buy’s new 252,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Premier 370 Business Park, new restaurant and retail additions to the Streets of St. Charles mixed-use commercial and residential development, GBT Realty’s 270,000-square-foot retail development – The Shoppes at Mid Rivers (the largest retail project in the region since 2008) and a host of other industrial, institutional, and retail developments. From one end of the community to another, new hotels, restaurants, and attractions are opening to serve the growing population base.

“Greater St. Charles is one of the most desirable places to live and work,” said Scott Tate, president & CEO of the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce. “Municipalities throughout the community make it easy for businesses to open. Strong business organizations in the county and recent legislation passed by pro-business legislators have made St. Charles County and the State of Missouri great places to do business.”

Another indicator of success and consumer confidence is our continued upswing in retail shopping in the community. For 2016, St. Charles County set a record with nearly $5.9 billion in retail sales. That was a 3.81 percent increase over the previous year and the highest ever for the area.

Today, some 8,500 companies are thriving in St. Charles County. International titans here include The Boeing Company, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Citi, MasterCard Worldwide, General Motors, Verizon, Enterprise Holdings, Nike, Alpla, Reckitt Benckiser and many more. There are also countless local success stories as homegrown entrepreneurs make a name for themselves here, across America and around the world. Hometown business heroes include LMI Aerospace, Patriot Machine, Boardpaq, Client Services, Ungerboeck Software International, Synergetics USA and others.

In addition, local start-ups Liviara (luxury lingerie) and jBloom (jewelry) have recently received national attention which has resulted in higher sales and the need to expand in large part to the mentorship and business incubation provided through the EDC Business and Community Partners in St. Peters and OPO Startups in St. Charles.

First-class education, continuing education and advanced studies are foundational to current and future prosperity for individuals, families, and businesses in the area. Nearly 43 percent of county residents are college graduates, and the community has an abundance of exemplary public, private and trade schools and institutions of higher learning. These include Lindenwood University (a member of the NCAA Division 2), St. Charles Community College, Webster University at WingHaven, Midwest University, Vatterott College, Rankin Technical College – Wentzville Campus and the Lewis and Clark Career Center.

With an estimated 2016 population of 390,918, more than 30,000 new residents have moved to St. Charles County since 2010, making it the fastest growing part of metro St. Louis and Missouri. In light of explosive residential and commercial growth in the area, it is easy to see why the three-sided convergence of Interstate 70, Highway 94 and Interstate 64 has long been nicknamed “The Golden Triangle.”

Meanwhile, the community celebrated the realization of a 20-year dream when the long-awaited, $118.2 million Highway 364 Phase III extension opened in late 2014. This new cross-county corridor or provides an important link from Highway 94 in St. Charles/St.Peters area to Interstate 64 in Dardenne Prairie/Lake Saint Louis area. This new highway is dramatically improving traffic flow and opening new areas for residential, recreational and commercial development. In fact, in 2016, Hwy. 364 surpassed Interstate 70 to become the busiest Missouri River bridge-crossing between St. Charles and St. Louis County during morning and afternoon rush hours.

“St. Charles County is quite literally a great place to grow your business and your life,” said Greg Prestemon, president & CEO of the Economic Development Center of St. Charles County (EDC). “We encourage you to visit and see why so many people and companies have decided to make this their home in the American heartland.”

Thanks to the county’s low unemployment rate, growing transportation infrastructure, and all our economic development partners, the future continues to look good for entrepreneurs, high-tech start-ups, and overall business and economic growth in St. Charles County.Shoppes at Mid Rivers

Scheduled for completion in fall 2017, Shoppes at Mid Rivers in St. Peters will offer the area expanded retail options for their everyday necessities and specialty purchases. The 28-acre site at Mid Rivers Mall Drive and Interstate 70, in the center of Saint Charles County, will add to an already thriving retail area that features the only regional mall in the county, Mid Rivers Mall, directly south of the new Shoppes on the opposite side of Interstate 70.

The Shoppes at Mid Rivers will be just west of Lou Fusz Chevrolet and will be anchored by major retailers Academy Sports + Outdoors, a premier provider of sports and outdoor products, hunting, fishing and camping gear, apparel and more; and Marshalls & HomeGoods, delivering ever-changing selections of designer fashions and name-brand merchandise for all aspects of home.

Burlington (formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory), opening its sixth location in the Saint Louis metro area, as well as Ross, ULTA Beauty, Five Below, Famous Footwear and Carter’s OshKosh B’gosh are also opening their doors at the new Shoppes at Mid Rivers.

The new development is the work of GBT Realty Corp., based in Brentwood, Tennesee, with MJM Architects of Nashville designing and local builders Knoebel Construction of Chesterfield, Missouri. St. Charles County Fast Facts In 2015, the Progressive Policy Institute recognized St. Charles County among the top 25 counties in the U.S. for tech job growth.

For the past eight years, St. Charles County has ranked at the top of Missouri’s “Healthiest Counties” in a report compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.

St. Charles County covers 561 square miles of diverse terrain that includes riverbanks, bluffs, forests and planned development.

St. Charles County is located at the confluence of the “Mighty” Mississippi River and the “Big Muddy” Missouri River, the fourth-largest river system in the world.

St. Charles County served as Missouri’s first state capital from 1821 to 1826 and was the starting point for Lewis and Clark’s famous Corp of Discovery Expedition in 1804.

The “first free school” west of the Mississippi River with the Academy of the Sacred Heart, established by Sister Philippine Duchesne in St. Charles and 1818.

The largest park in St. Charles County is the 7,000-acre August A. Bush Memorial Conservation area, known locally as “Busch Wildlife” and popular for trail users, fishing, hunting and family outings.

St. Charles County is home to the Weinstrasse, or Missouri Wine Road, which boasts the highest concentration of wineries in the state and was the first American Viticultural Area designated by the federal government.

The 10-block, 200-year-old Historic Main Street in St. Charles is Missouri’s first and largest historic district and one of the largest in the United States.

In 1970, fewer than 100,000 people lived in St. Charles County. Current U.S. Census estimates place the local population above 353,000, with nearly 67,000 people moving here since 2000.

More new residents moved into St. Charles County than anywhere else in Missouri from 2008 to 2009, according to the U.S. Census. The community attracted 5,772 new residents in that year.

The Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles is the most popular tourist site in metro St. Louis, with approximately 10 million visitors each year.

St. Charles County is the starting point for the 225-mile Katy Trail State Park and is the most popular section of the system, attracting 111,000 users in 2009, nearly 40 percent of all trail users in Missouri.

With eight data centers located along the highway 40/I-64 “high tech” corridor in St. Charles County, the local area has one of the largest concentrations of IT facilities in metro St. Louis.

At more than $7.5 billion in annual total assessed valuation, St. Charles County is ranked third in the state after St. Louis County and Jackson County.

Accounting for 6.2 percent of Missouri’s total economy, St. Charles County is ranked third in the state after St. Louis County and Jackson County.

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