Local Business Notes: First rendering of Springfield Harvest Market unveiled

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Quincy-based NIEMANN FOODS has received permits from the city of Springfield allowing construction to start on the company’s second HARVEST MARKET location, which will be built out of an existing County Market location at 3001 S. Veterans Parkway.

The company first announced it was bringing Harvest Market, a farm-to-table grocery store concept, to town in April while confirming its West Side location in late August.

Minor work has begun on the site, but Niemann spokesman Gerry Kettler doesn’t expect the store to be ready until late next year. But, the company did provide an exterior rendering of what the renovated structure will look like once complete.

Renovations and an addition to the south side of the building are expected to cost about $8 million, according to permits filed with the city. According to Kettler, construction on the addition will likely begin in January. County Market will stay open during that portion of construction, he said.

The new store’s special features will include an attached Farmhouse Restaurant and a second-level lounge/bar area with a balcony where craft beers will be served.

Including the Veterans Parkway location, Niemann Foods already operates five County Market grocery stores in Springfield, as well as sites in Sherman and Chatham. Niemann Foods also is the parent company for Save-A-Lot, which has a store at 2520 Clear Lake Ave.

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The ILLINOIS COAL ASSOCIATION will have a new president as of next year.

NICK WILLIAMS, who is currently the associate director of the Illinois Petroleum Council, will join the trade organization on Dec. 1 and assume the role of president on Jan. 1. He will succeed PHIL GONET, who has served in the role since 2004.

The Springfield-based association represents the interests of the Illinois coal industry in the Statehouse and from a public relations standpoint. According to the association, Illinois is the fourth-largest coal producing state in the country. The industry employs more than 3,000 people across the state.

Gonet, who announced his retirement in March, will remain with the organization through 2020 to help with the transition.

Williams comes on at a challenging time for the industry, which has faced pressure from government regulations and other energy sources like natural gas, wind and solar.

In August, Texas-based Vistra Energy announced the closure of four coal-fired power plants in Illinois, costing nearly 300 jobs. And the city of Springfield is currently working on a decomissioning plan that is likely to include shutting down at least two of the city’s four coal-fired power plants in the next year.

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The CITIZENS CLUB OF SPRINGFIELD’s policy breakfast this Friday will include an update on the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. Jim Moll and Kevin Seals from Hanson Professional Services will provide an update on the project’s current status, future schedule and funding.

It comes just a few weeks after the opening of the Ash Street underpass at the 10th Street rail corridor and the subsequent closing of Laurel Street as construction of an underpass begins there.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the program begins at 8 a.m. in the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

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DIEUS ALTERATIONS & TAILORING, 1601 S. MacArthur Blvd., is going out of business.

Owner Nadine Tran informed customers last week it would no longer take new clients as of Nov. 2 and that doors would close for good on Nov. 16. Hours this week will be 6 to 9 p.m.

An all-day sale will take place on Saturday as the business seeks to unload clothing, sewing machines and furniture. The building is also for sale.

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SCHNUCKS is bringing curbside pickup service to its two Springfield locations, 2801 Chatham Road and 1911 Sangamon Ave.

Under the service, customers can visit schnucksdelivers.com, select the “pickup” option and select a time between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to receive their groceries, which will be delivered directly to their vehicle.

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As Illinois farmers continue their harvest, 2019 production levels are coming into clearer focus.

According to data released last week by the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, about 10.5 million acres of corn were planted across the state this year, down 5 percent from last year. Corn yield is forecasted at 179 bushels per acre, down 31 from last year. And production is forecast at 1.83 billion bushels, down 19 percent from last year’s production.

About 10 million acres of soybeans were planted this year, down 7 percent from last year. Soybean yield is forecast at 51 bushels per acre, down 12.5 from 2018. Production is forecast at 507 million bushels, down 24 percent from last year.

A decrease in production was expected after an especially difficult planting season hampered by untimely rains and flooding in certain parts of the state. But, many farmers said it could have been worse.

As of last week, about 58 percent of the corn crop and 77 percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, down from 92 percent and 91 percent, respectively, at this point last year.

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ANVIL & FORGE will celebrate its one-year anniversary this Thursday with the installation of additional taps, bring the craft brewery’s total number up to 20. The taps will be filled with beers brewed by the company and other Illinois breweries.

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The ILLINOIS AFL-CIO has been issued a sign permit allowing for the erection of two digital boards outside the union’s headquarters at 534 S. Second St

It comes after the Springfield City Council approved a use variance in August allowing improvements to the union’s front plaza, which include putting up a 10-foot statue of Rueben Soderstrom, who was president of the Illinois AFL-CIO for 40 years. The electronic displays would show information about Soderstrom’s life and significant labor events in Illinois history.

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The ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN COMMUNICATIONS’ Springfield chapter will host a reception this Wednesday to honor Angie Muhs, the group’s 2019 Professional Communicator of the Year.

Muhs, the former executive editor of The State Journal-Register, currently works as a manager of communications at MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM. The reception will be held at The Incubator, 11 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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Filed at Springfield Building and Zoning, Oct. 21 to Nov. 3:

YCMA, 601 N. Fourth St.; commercial permit
HARVEST MARKET, 3001 S. Veterans Parkway; commercial permit
GATEWAY SPRINGFIELD CENTER, 2200 Lake Victoria Drive; remodel
U-HAUL, 3250 E. Clear Lake Ave.; remodel
SPRINGFIELD MASS TRANSIT DISTRICT, 928 S. Ninth St.; remodel
SANGAMON HOLDINGS LLC, 1720-2 Sangamon Ave.; remodel
SPRINGFIELD RIGHT TO LIFE, 519 Bruns Lane; sign permit
RICHARDS & STEHMAN CUSTOM PRODUCTS, 317 E. Monroe St.; sign permit
3101 West White Oaks Drive; sign permit

Major conventions through the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau:

TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS OF ILLINOIS ANNUAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE, Crowne Plaza, 3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy.; Nov. 10 to 12
ILLINOIS DISTRICT COUNCIL ASSEMBLIES OF GOD MOMENTUM CONFERENCE, BOS Center, 1 Contention Center Plz.; Nov. 15 to 16

Brenden Moore covers business issues for The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at 788-1528, bmoore@sj-r.com, twitter.com/brendenmoore13.