APRIL 2024

Flock Food Truck Park & Bar

Are you ready to get back to some outdoor fun, music and amazing food? Well, you’re in luck! AltonWorks announces that Flock Food Truck Park and Bar seasonal opening is scheduled for the weekend beginning on Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14, 2024. Flock is located at 210 Ridge between Broadway and Landmarks Blvd. and adjacent to the Jacoby Arts Center. Learn more about the spring and summer season with the latest press release here.


AltonWorks Brings 6x Emmy Nominated Danish Master Chef and Food is Love  Host Lasse Sorensen to Alton to Help Launch Alton as a Culinary Destination

AltonWorks announced that it is bringing Danish Master Chef and Food is Love host Lasse Sorensen to Alton to help foster the city as a regional culinary destination.

 What makes a city a culinary destination? Ethnic food choices. Affordability. Outdoor dining options. Community support. Strategic planning. A farm to table focus. Walkability. Easy access. An environment where food enthusiastically connects friends, families and even strangers. 

“Creating a vibrant, accessible food community and culinary destination in downtown Alton is a part of AltonWorks’ long-term strategy to revitalize this great city,” said Alton resident and AltonWorks CEO John Simmons. “To help foster this vision, Master Chef Lasse Sorensen will relocate his home and his 6x Emmy nominated ‘Food is Love’ program to Alton.” The Food is Love headquarters will be located at 223 Market in downtown Alton in an AltonWorks property.

Alton is fortunate to have many fantastic restaurants, which will provide an incredible base off of which to grow. Much of AltonWorks’ focus will be on supporting current restauranters, attracting new restaurants, working with Lasse to help the company plan restaurants housed in AltonWorks’ buildings (like the Wedge Innovation Center) and drawing attention to Alton as a food destination through the Food is Love program.

FALL 2023

AltonWorks Proposes
New Vision for Riverfront

On November 28, 2023, the Alton Riverfront Commission voted to recommend the City of Alton join with others to conduct a study on the viability of creating a Great Rivers National Park, an idea proposed by AltonWorks at the meeting.

 It’s clear that Americans love their national parks. According to the National Park Service, about 312 million people visited national parks in 2022, a 5% increase from 2021. National parks bring in billions of dollars of economic activity to regions across the country for small and large cities alike.

 AltonWorks unveiled a long-term vision to create the Great Rivers National Park to help transform Alton and highlight the region’s crown jewel: The Mississippi River. This proposal is aligned with the founding principles of AltonWorks, which include livability, environmental stewardship, social justice, and inclusivity in rebuilding communities for optimum social impact.

Realizing this vision will take the efforts of numerous city, state, and federal government organizations. Bringing these lands together under the National Park Service would provide consistent trails and amenities and leverage park marketing, maintenance and funding for a 135,000-acre, 144-mile designated recreation park.



The City of Alton received a grant from East West Gateway to commission a The Great Streets design effort which was completed in June 2020. The plan reimagined Broadway as a welcoming and vibrant streetscape that serves as a modern main street for a revitalized Alton. $500,000 in funding for engineering has been obtained by Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and will be available summer 2023. AltonWorks and the City of Alton are now seeking phased funding for implementation of the Great Streets plan and hopes to establish an impactful public-private partnership, resulting in a complete transformation of downtown Alton, paving the way for attracting new businesses, jobs, and residents and stopping the population decline in the region. Recent federal and state infrastructure bills provide an unprecedented opportunity to improve our infrastructure. AltonWorks fully supports the implementation of these infrastructure programs and advocates continued expansion of the funding mechanisms to expand these needed infrastructure improvements.

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Park Park

In fall of 2023, AltonWorks will begin construction on a community park next to Flock. Research indicates that city parks and open spaces improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work, which is why this space has been chosen as a top development opportunity in the revitalization of downtown Alton.


Construction begins on The Wedge
Innovation Center

AltonWorks begins construction on the Wedge Innovation Center (the Wedge) today, December 7, 2022. Construction crews will focus phase one of their work inside the Elfgen building with the remediation of mold and additional asbestos. Demolition will begin once remediation efforts are complete. BSI Constructor’s Inc. of St. Louis is the construction company hired to renovate the Wedge, and Crossroads is BSI’s demolition contractor.

“This is a great day for Alton,” said AltonWorks CEO John Simmons. “Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been working behind the scenes to make events like today happen. Projects are moving forward in a thoughtful and intentional way, even if they are not always evident to the community at large.” Read the press release here.


The Wedge Innovation Center

Innovation. It drives everything we do these days, from medical cures and environmental protections to culture and the arts. Today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker joined AltonWorks CEO John Simmons and President Jayne Simmons to announce the establishment of the Wedge Innovation Center in downtown Alton.

The Wedge Innovation Center and Elfgen Building, formerly known as the Wedge Bank Building will include retail and café on the first floor facing Broadway in the Elfgen The Wedge and Elfgen buildings will be connected in the renovation. On the second and third floor of the Elfgen, office space will be constructed for use by start-up and small, growing companies that could benefit from a collaborative, coworking spaces. Once these companies grow in size, they have the option of moving to larger spaces on the fourth floor, which will feature a coworking lounge and access to a roof deck terrace lounge. The Wedge Innovation Center will house its management office in the Elfgen Building.

The offices will include technology support, working spaces, private cubicles, conference rooms, and lounges. Tenants will share resources for a more economical leasing option. Construction began in the fall of 2022 and is expected to be completed in early 2024.


Jacoby Arts Center

The future plans for the Jacoby Arts Center are to retain the gallery and classrooms on the first floor. The second and third floors will be developed into offices or loft space. Construction on this project will begin in fall of 2023.


Downtown Alton Recognized in
National Register of Historic Places

Thanks to the hard work and relentless commitment of dozens of Alton community volunteers, much of Alton’s Downtown Historic District is officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of an expansion of the Middletown Historic District. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation and part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. Read the press release here.


Lucas Row

He was an architect, former Mayor, and Chief of the volunteer fire department. Now, Lucas Pfeiffenberger, born in 1834 to German immigrants, has a stretch of buildings from 601–613 East Broadway that he designed now called Lucas Row, named after him to honor his Alton legacy.  Read the press release here.

Lucas Row sits on one of the most distinct streets in downtown Alton. Lucas Row will provide 12 new apartments with modern amenities and great views of the Mississippi. Construction is expected to be completed sometime in early 2024.


Grand Theatre

Although the Grand Theatre was a top priority at the time it was acquired, the pandemic changed real estate priorities for AltonWorks. The current work on the theatre includes construction that will help stabilize this historic site and ensure it is ready for future construction.


Work progresses on food truck park

AltonWorks formally names historic building after renowned Alton architect and former Alton mayor

AltonWorks names building after Pfeiffenberger

AltonWorks names building after former mayor

Different is possible; AltonWorks planning business incubator

Fairmount Park adding slots, other casino games to spur $50 million in new facilities

A further look at the $75M planned for Downtown Alton revitalization, courtesy of John an Jayne Simmons

The place to be

Pritzker pumped for AltonWorks: $75M downtown Simmons plan cuts ribbon

Simmons leads $75 million remake of Downtown Alton

Illinois governor helps launch aggressive and inspirational revitalization of Downtown Alton as a model for downstate Illinois economic development

Illinois Governor Pritzker to attend AltonWorks ribbon cutting

Gov. J.B. Pritzker visits Metro East, attends AltonWorks ribbon-cutting

‘What’s Up Downtown planned Aug. 6

Kicked off: Alton’s multi-million dollar downtown rebuild heralded by Simmons’ park project Monday

Ambitions Alton revitalization plan picking up steam

AltonWorks innovation: Building on the past, banking on the future

AltonWorks developing innovation center at “The Wedge”

Duckworth: Alton deserves an updated, accessible downtown

Different is possible; AltonWorks planning business incubator

Redevelopment firm plots $21M innovation center in Alton

AltonWorks formally names historic building after renowned Alton architect and former Alton mayor

AltonWorks names building after former mayor

Flock Food Truck Park opens at Alton city entrance

Flock of people come to chow down in Alton

Flock & Food Truck Park in Alton is open for summer service


Lucas Row Revitalization adds Housing and Retail to Growing Jacoby Arts & Innovation District

Flock Food Truck Park and Bar Opens April 12, 2024 with the “Landing” of Some Big Surprises

AltonWorks Expands Regional Innovation Focus with Appointment TechSTL’s Emily Hemingway to Serve as Wedge Innovation Center Executive Director 

AltonWorks brings 6x Emmy Nominated Danish Master Chef and Food is Love Host Lasse Sorensen to Alton to Help Launch Alton as a  Culinary Destination

December 7th Marks One Year Since Construction on Wedge Innovation Center Began

AltonWorks Proposes New Vision for Riverfront

AltonWorks Announces Feasibility Study for new Downtown Hotel

AW Launches New Website

Construction Begins on the Wedge Innovation Center

Launching Alton into the Digital Economy

Grand Opening of Flock Food Truck Park at Alton City Entrance

Downtown Alton Recognized in National Register of Historic Places

AltonWorks Formally Names Historic Building After Renowned Alton Architect. 

It’s Time to Climb Into the Attic, Search the Garage, or Tackle the Basement to Find Your Favorite Memories of Downtown Alton for a New Video by AltonWorks

Join AltonWorks for a 2019 Grand New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Party!

A Flood of a Different Kind is Coming to Downtown Alton on Saturday

Illinois Governor Helps Launch Aggressive and Inspirational Revitalization of Downtown Alton as a Model for Downstate Illinois Economic Development

Downtown Alton Gets New Healthy Happy Entrance

Alton Residents Get Up-Close Look at the Big Ideas for Downtown Alton

Jayne and John Simmons Discuss Big Ideas with Business and Civic Leaders About the Future of Downtown Alton

Media Contact

For all media inquiries, please contact Susan C. Ryan:

Phone: 314-304-6800