EDWARDSVILLE • A pair of Edwardsville-area developers think they have a "bright idea," a new, multifeatured entertainment complex to be called Edison's.
Managing partners Matt McSparin and Terry Rujawitz lead an investment group preparing to build the center on a 4.25-acre site along Illinois Route 157 near the Sunset Hills Country Club.
The project hit what was expected to be a temporary hitch on Wednesday, when Tim Harr, the city's public works director, ordered work halted on the project. Harr said the developers had permits for grading but had not submitted a site plan and other required paperwork.
He said he issued the stop order after structural steel was delivered to the site.
Harr said the issue was one the developers needed to resolve with their builder and architect and said he didn't think it would cause more than a temporary delay.
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"They're having problems getting their papers together," he said. "I think it will be just a matter of time."
McSparin said investment in the project is expected to be between $3.5 million and $4 million. Grading and site preparation are under way. The address is 2277 State Route 157.
McSparin said he and Rujawitz saw a "huge void" in the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon area of venues that offer entertainment alternatives for people of all ages.
The two adjoining communities once had two large bowling establishments, but one closed at the end of 2002 and the other closed in 2005.
McSparin said Edison's will reflect an emerging national trend that combines a high-end bowling experience with other entertainment elements and "robust food and beverage offerings."
"We just feel really good about providing something to a community that has a need," he said.
McSparin said the developers have lots of marketing ideas related to the Edison's name. He suggested it would be a place to "reinvent yourself" and have some "genius-level fun."
McSparin said he and Rujawitz want an atmosphere that is 'swanky, but not nightclub swanky."
Rather than traditional bowling center furnishings, the 12 bowling lanes will have leather couches and coffee tables with food and beverage service at the lanes. There will be four 12-by-16.5-foot projection screens called Media Masks that will show sporting events or music videos while customers bowl, play pool or just relax.
The bar and lounge will feature flat-screen TVs and couch pits. Both will open onto a patio with a fire pit and a view of the adjoining golf course.
The complex will initially have 120 parking spaces with room for 40 more in the future. McSparin said there are plans to expand the complex if business warrants it.
"We over-bought on our land," he said.
Edison's has a Facebook page and a website, still under construction, at www.edisonsfun.com.
Efforts to contact Mayor Gary Niebur and several other city officials on Thursday were unsuccessful.