DOWNTOWN PEORIA – THE CREATIVE CLASS

HIRING AND RETAINING THE BEST EMPLOYEES

Quality companies hire young creative class employees from around the world. To attract these employees our salaries are competitive with other regions. Talented new employees are the lifeblood of any company, and it is vital that the best and brightest are recruited and retained.

Young people choose their work and home based on many factors beyond salary. They like the vibrancy of downtowns, with work close to housing, pubs, and entertainment. Recruitment and retention of top people would be greatly facilitated if we can create a more vibrant downtown with more retail and housing located in or near downtown and the River.

Working together, the City of Peoria and major downtown firms can improve and enhance our downtown as a place to live and work. This will help our great firms attract and retain the best and brightest employees.

Peoria is part of the second largest metropolitan area in Illinois, and boasts the second most intensely developed downtown. The downtown is a vibrant and successful commercial district, and boasts a very attractive riverfront, beautiful buildings, and a strong and growing employment base. Like many older cities, however, it is in need of new housing and retail in and near the downtown core. The City boasts numerous quality industrial buildings that could be redeveloped into quality housing and retail areas. Some vacant tracts could welcome new construction of single-family homes and townhouses.

The City has created great incentives to help develop new and rehab old buildings into successful mixed use development. Enterprise Zone, TIF, and historic tax credits are available.
The market is strong - downtown can support 194 dwelling units a year - market is new CAT, OSF and Methodist Hospital employees - 17,000 jobs within easy walking distance. Median price of a home in Peoria went up 10.2% in the first quarter of 08 from 1st quarter of 07, while the rest of the country went down 7.7%.

POSSIBLE LOCATIONS FOR MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT
Combining office, housing, & retail

Warehouse District http://www.warehousedistrict.blogspot.com/

The Warehouse District is also a great location. Some of the great old buildings between the Ball field and the River have great potential. In addition to getting the Enterprise Zone and TIF incentives, the buildings are eligible for a 10 to 20% Historic Federal Tax Credit.

Another interesting location is the InPlay building, which will be available for purchase and rehabilitation. Historic tax credits would apply.


Gateway Building
http://gatewaybuilding.blogspot.com/

The Gateway building could also a great mixed use development. The City is currently selling this building. It could be expanded upwards, or use a new building on either end of the current structure.


River Trail Drive http://rivertraildrive.blogspot.com/

The River Trail Drive development would also be a great location. This mixed use development could provide both great office space and housing for new employees. The city owns all the land, and is looking for a quality developer.

Armory Building

This great historic building is suitable for a mixed use development. The City could create a new TIF for this building, and provide a substantial incentive. City staff are also working with the PHA to redevelop the adjacent TAFT development.

Museum Block / Caterpillar Visitor Center

The Museum / Caterpillar Visitor Center could be greatly expanded to also house a mixed use development. The buildings are proposed to be low – they could be changed to much taller buildings above the Visitor Center and Museum. The additional TIF increment could pay for more parking and/or help the Museum.

Wisdom Approved Office Building

This location on the River would be a great location for a mixed use development.
Main Street between downtown and Bradley University is a terrific location for new urban development.
River Trail Drive
This proposed development along the Riverfront just north of downtown can become a great mixed use development.

The pages below provide additional information:


Contact Craig Hullinger for more information: 309 494 8639 Hullingerc@gmail.com