Bryan Vogt: Welcome back to Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host, Bryan Vogt, and have been talking to Mayor Mark, and he is the mayor of the city of Fairview Heights. And he shared were some fascinating things, some great things about the city of Fairview, and I will be honest with you. Off air, during the break, we were talking … I didn’t know there were seven parks, and I’ve lived here all my life, and I know quite a few of them, but that’s an amazing thing, and the amazing thing that the city has going for it is fantastic.
I think also, Mayor, you said something, too, is that once you live in the city, and this is really important, but I want to highlight that; because the mall is such a force with highway 64 and everything like that, two things. It gives quick access if you work in St. Louis. You’re just literally a hop, skip, and jump away of jumping on highway 64 and being 15 minutes if you work in downtown St. Louis, so that’s a really convenience. People pay attention to that. And you can go the other way, too. You jump on 64 and you’re right at Scott Air Force Base in probably less than 15 minutes, and so that’s a big plus, too.
With that 64, that’s such a great access that you have. I think the other part of it is, though, that once you live there, you do know the back ways to get around when there is traffic around there, and I think that’s important, because sometimes if you’re not living in the city, during the Christmas time, you see everything going on which is beautiful to begin with. But they don’t realize that getting around is actually fairly simple, even during those times.
Mayor Mark: Absolutely. Mobility is important and being able to commute. And, Bryan, you bring up some great points. Fairview Heights is 12 miles from downtown St. Louis. And you can get to downtown often quicker from Fairview Heights than you can from Clayton. Our proximity to the interstate system, to Interstate 64, to 255, makes us so easy, as a community, to get to, and that’s one of the great things about living in this area.
And then the easy access not just to areas outside of Fairview, but once you’re in the community, the access to the other communities around us. Collinsville, Belleville, Shiloh, O’Fallon, East St. Louis. Very easy to access any of those areas at any time.
Bryan Vogt: The other thing you talked about, too, and I loved, and that is the art fair that you have, and that has really grown, and it just … again, I think you talked about it before, but it just reinforces that sense of community, that yes, the mall is there, but there’s so many other things to do in the city also, and the art fair is one of them. And it’s an amazing thing. It seems like it’s growing every year.
Mayor Mark: It is. The art fair, just a real quick snippet. Back in the early ’80s, I happened to be just on Council, and one of our aldermen visited Mystic, Connecticut, and he saw this amazing art fair, and he came back and he said it would be really cool if we could do something like that. And of course, people scratched their heads and they said, “But that’s Mystic Connecticut.”
We had the foresight to go and explore that by involving the community. The art fair is run by a community group of residents and citizens and the Arts Council. Just like the other civic organizations we have, we have the Rotary, the Elks, Kiwanis, there’s a local Lions Club. All of those things, of course, make up the community, and those various groups and volunteers who spend effortless hours putting it together has just been an amazing thing, and as a result, we’ve seen other art shows develop around us to really drive the value of the metro area.
And one thing you’ll hear me say as mayor often is, yes, I’m the Mayor of Fairview Heights. But I believe in the region and driving growth across the region, because if Fairview does well, other cities do well. And likewise, when other cities do well, Fairview does well. I think it’s very important to have that overall regent promotion and that’s key.
One quick note, you mentioned the mall. I’d like to just let people know that malls today often in areas are struggling. Our mall is doing exceptionally well. According to the statistics, it is rated the number two mall in the St. Louis area currently. Just for those who have visited the mall and might see some vacancies right now, just to let your callers know, those are planned vacancies. There’s two major tenants that will be moving in, so they’re currently working to move tenants around and make space. Great things are happening in Fairview Heights.
Bryan Vogt: And that’s awesome to know, too, because again it’s stability, and we’re running out of time, but two points that are just fantastic about Fairview Heights. You mentioned earlier there’s different price levels that anybody can fit to, to the highest, to where first time home buyers can move in with affordable pricing and some great locations, but Stonewolf Golf Course, okay.
Jack Nicklaus designed. That’s a premiere site, just on the higher end level, and they have a mixture of different things, and we’ve seen people from St. Louis move here just because of the pricing differences, but also the conveniences that you have.
All in all, Fairview Heights has so many great things, and what I want to leave everyone with is, and what I really got from the mayor is his understanding the sense of community that there is. That there is a volunteer spirit and the mayor … that comes from the top, I believe, from not only the mayor, but the alderman and everybody involved. Great stuff, Mayor.
I really appreciate your time. Fairview Heights is a fantastic place to live. Again, I’ve been in the area all my life. Have good friends that live in that area, and they talk nothing but good things about it. So with that, Mayor, we’re going to have to leave it at that, but I want to thank you again so much for spending some time in talking about your city.
Mayor Mark: Thank you so much, Bryan. Appreciate what you do for us, and welcome people to come visit Fairview Heights.