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Simmons Law Firm Building Redevelopment

Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC, has moved their 200-plus employee law firm to a redeveloped, green facility in one of Alton's historic business districts. Located at 1 Court Street, the former headquarters of Jefferson Smurfit, has been transformed into a six-story, eco-friendly building pending LEED certification.

The national plaintiff's firm purchased the building in July 2009 and began refurbishing it that November.

The Simmons building was originally built in 1971. It was vacant for several years and in foreclosure when the firm bought the property in 2009. As a result, the building underwent extensive repairs to make it suitable for the firm's needs. The firm started operations in the
building in the spring of 2011.

The nearly 70,000-square-foot building now houses 70 offices, 130 workspaces, six meeting rooms and one auditorium. The building has a number of eco-friendly features: energy efficient glass panels, a "green" roof, an energy-efficient HVAC system and lighting.

Several conference rooms in the building reflect the town's unique history. The auditorium is called the Lincoln-Douglas auditorium, a nod to Alton's distinction as one of seven Illinois towns that hosted the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. The 5th floor board room is called the Lewis & Clark Board Room in recognition of the two explorers who launched their journey across the Louisiana Purchase in the Riverbend region.

Additional repairs included installing new elevators, expanding the parking lot, bringing the bathrooms in line with standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act and other cosmetic updates.

"We want to thank Holland Construction, Hurford Architects, the sub-contractors and everyone who has brought the project to life over the past months," said Chief Operating Officer Gregg Kirkland. "We're also especially appreciative to the Alton city officials who have helped make this vision a reality."

The City of Alton provided $500,000 at the front end of the deal and the City will provide an additional $1,000,000 in property tax rebates which will take roughly 10 years based upon future assessments. These funds came from City TIF resources.

"When we were deciding how we were going to bring everyone under one roof, Alton just stood out," Kirkland said. "It has the infrastructure we need, and the community made a distinct effort to make us feel welcome. We're very excited to call Alton home."

Information provided by Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC