New attractions coming to Belleville -

New attractions coming to Belleville

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( – New restaurants, a hotel, and a soccer park are officially coming to Belleville.

Officials say barring any extreme winter weather this year, an empty lot will become a Haufbrahaus next summer.

“They will be brewing beers and we’ll be having a few,” said Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert. “I’d be very surprised right now if they wouldn’t be up and running by then.”

But Mayor Eckert says it’s taken a long time to get the green light. The main reason? The State of Illinois’s financial disaster.

“We were constantly lobbying to get this thing because we know things are difficult in Illinois,” the mayor said. “But this is a project that will create jobs and sales tax for the people of Illinois. It’s a win-win-win.”

On Wednesday, state officials signed the approval to start buying equipment and building on this site along Route 15.

“It’s going to help bring money and tourism to Belleville,” Mayor Eckert said. But that doesn’t mean this decision didn’t cause controversy. Earlier this year, several city council member were upset about tax incentives going to the developer. The city also raised the Motel-Hotel tax from five to eight percent, which will help the four new hotels that will eventually occupy the space near ‘Our Lady of the Snows’ shrine.

“It was a tough decision, but we needed to do that,” Mayor Eckert said. “We needed to do that to make the package work for the shrine, the developer, and the city.”

Construction is set to begin soon.

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