Client: Southern Illinois Airport Authority and Jackson Growth Alliance

To provide an information base for the preparation of a development plan for the Southern Illinois Airport, Gruen Gruen + Associates (GG+A) and its subcontractor Hanson Professional Services Inc. (Hanson) assessed potential market opportunities related to industrial, office, and residential uses for the Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro, Illinois. GG+A also evaluated potential opportunities related to aviation uses, including case studies’ review of the characteristics and conditions that make education- and aviation-related and automotive-related economic development viable.

The major user at the Southern Illinois Airport, Southern Illinois University has a major set of educational facilities for flight training, aircraft maintenance, and related operations, strengths of which could be potentially built upon to expand flight training and related operations. To obtain information and insight concerning the advantages and disadvantages of the location of the Transportation Education Center and Airport from the perspective of firms that currently have representatives serving as advisory committee members to SIU Departments of Aviation Management and Flight, Aviation Technologies, and Automotive Technology, GG+A conducted interviews with the chairs of the Department of Automotive Technology, Department of Aviation Management & Flight, and Department of Aviation Technologies of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at Southern Illinois University and conducted a survey of members of SIU’s Aviation Advisory and Automotive Advisory Boards.

In addition, an assessment of infrastructure conditions and a real estate feasibility analysis of a postulated prototypical development project were completed. Based on a synthesis of the research and analysis completed, GG+A prepared a land use plan that identified 14 “buildable” sites totaling 279 acres of land. GG+A also prepared a strategic action development plan for the Southern Illinois Airport and presented recommendations for implementing the plan to the boards of the Southern Illinois Airport Authority, Jackson Growth Alliance, Jackson County, and municipal officials. GG+A principals also met with the Chancellor of Southern Illinois University to review the findings and recommendations, many of which related to the University and with which the Chancellor concurred.