Century-Old Marion, Ill. Landmark to Become Business Incubator

December 18, 2023|

MARION, Ill. – The 109-year-old Citadel Building at 504 Tower Square Plaza in Marion is going to see some love.

Thanks to a $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to owner Watermark Auto Group Foundation, the building is being transformed into EThOs at The Citadel, an entrepreneurial and technical opportunities business incubator.

The grant will fund construction of a 21,000-square-foot facility for small business training and entrepreneurial resources, supporting an economy that has been impacted by the declining use of coal. The

Economic Development Administration grant will be matched with $775,304 in local funds and is expected to create 150 jobs and generate $750,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies that are supporting businesses and creating jobs in Southern Illinois,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo. “This project will not only revitalize an historic downtown building, but also provide new opportunities for entrepreneurs who will build regional economic resiliency for decades to come.”

The Citadel project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities initiative, through which the EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the decline in coal usage. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and reemployment opportunities.

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