Blue Water Convention Center

As most of you know, the former Thomas Edison Inn and the surrounding properties are being developed and/or renovated. There are four main projects being developed simultaneously: Renovation of former TEI by JB Development, Renovation of the restaurant by Meritage, the Culinary Institute by Baker College and a Convention Facility by St. Clair County.

The first three phases are: the renovation and re-branding of the former Thomas Edison Inn to a Hilton Double Tree Hotel by a private developer, JB Real Estate Development; the Freighters Restaurant by Meritage Hospitality Group; and the construction of a culinary institute by Baker College.

The final phase is the convention facility by the County of St. Clair, which will include approximately 20,000 square feet of event hall plus the renovation of existing conference rooms. The construction of the St. Clair County Convention Center is anticipated to commence in the 3rd Quarter of 2013. The County Board of Commissioners approved the project on December 14, 2011 in an amount not to exceed $9 million. In order to further stimulate the local economy, the County Board of Commissioner also set a goal of 70% of the labor and materials for the construction of the convention center are to be provided by local laborers and vendors.

Feasibility Studies and Economic Impact Studies, which can be viewed on this site, were completed in 2010 and 2011 to demonstrate the viability of this facility. The Convention Center complex is anticipated to generate nearly $20 million in private investment and approximately 200 jobs, in addition to thousands of new visitors annually to the community.

We will continue to post documents and updates on the St. Clair County Convention Center project on this site.