By Randy Pierce
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – As faint glimmers of hope are showing signs that the coronavirus pandemic may be subsiding, a similarly positive picture is materializing in Fairview Heights concerning new establishments that are opening.
The first of these occurred on Monday, January 24, at 10900B Lincoln Trail in the Midway Plaza, where a blood donation center called ImpactLife, a not-for-profit agency, opened its doors.
A provider of blood to local area hospitals, ImpactLife is open five days a week, Monday and Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. along with Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. with advance appointments necessary.
ImpactLife operates 21 donor centers in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin which provide blood services for 125 different hospitals.
The Fairview Heights City Council was expected to have approved, at its meeting held on Tuesday, February 1, of this week after the press deadline for this issue of The Tribune, a special use permit authorizing of the opening of “an event venue” in a vacant strip center space at 58 Commerce Lane next to the Hooters Restaurant and across from the Weekends Only furniture store.
The request for that permit, which was initially brought before the city’s planning commission, had to undergo a site development review process because in the planned business-zoned district where this is located, the potential for impact on traffic, noise and the adjacent businesses exists with the presence of a new establishment like this resulting from “substantial changes” in how the property is to be used.
The permit applicant, Latasha Bailey-Johnson of Belleville, is calling the new business Imperious Celebrations & Decor with plans to offer the 4857-square-foot space for birthday parties and similar gatherings.
To be operated by a company titled Imperious Investments LLC of which Bailey-Johnson identifies herself as chief executive officer, the business will have tables, chairs, plates, utensils and linens plus audio-visual equipment available for rental, event hosts and wait staff, décor and pertinent consulting services.
As pointed out during the planning commission meeting by Fairview Heights Director of Land Use and Development Dallas Alley in response to a question, the serving of alcoholic beverages was not addressed nor did it need to be, per city regulations about special use permits like this, in the application from Bailey-Johnson but he said a liquor license for this location would be available, subject to an appropriate review process, if she were to apply for it.
The planning commission’s approval of this special use permit for this business was also supported by the aldermanic community committee’s planning committee prior to be forwarded to the city council for final approval.