Interesting article on the
Workforce Development Blog

"Professional and technical services industry has brought the most jobs with a total of 7,570 total jobs brought in during the period." (Peoria County 2001-2006)


Riverfront Planning and Development

Click on the Map to Make it Larger
Discuss what Peoria can do to encourage
continued improvement in Riverfront Planning.

Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00, Gateway Building at the Illinois River south of I-74

8:00 a.m. Welcome - Ray Lees, Planning Commission

8:10 a.m. Tom Tincher- Heartland Water Resources Council

8:30 a.m. Terry Kohlbuss - Tri-County Regional Planning

8:45 a.m. Craig Hullinger- Economic Development

9:00 a.m. Break-out session of 10 person planning group.

Discuss ideas, goals and proposals.

11:00 a.m. Present outcome to group

12:00 p.m. Adjourn

The citizen’s input will be placed on the City of Peoria blog at
peoriaed.blogspot.com and incorporated into Riverfront planning efforts, and considered by the Planning Commission for incorporation into the Comprehensive Plan.

More information at http://peoriaed.blogspot.com/ under

Green Edge

Riverfront Drive

Sustainable Development


Eagle View

For more information contact:

Craig Hullinger, Director Economic Development




The City of Peoria seeks proposals from qualified developers for the purchase or lease and redevelopment of a City-owned building located at 121 Morton Street. This building is located near Constitution Park, along the Illinois River next to the downtown.

121 Morton Street

This building is one-story with a small, second story loft area 150 sq. ft. at the southern end of the building. The total size of the building is approximately 6,000 sq. ft. The exterior walls of this building are concrete block, and brick veneer with long rectangular windows facing the river; interior flooring is concrete; interior walls are concrete block and brick veneer; the roof is built-up with a ¼” per foot pitch; downspouts are on the exterior of the building. The building was originally used as the Rock Island Railroad Depot, but more recently has been used for storage and a small office area.

A City-owned parking lot containing 45 parking spaces is located adjacent to the property.

The building is currently zoned for R-3, single family residential, but proposals containing other zoning will be considered.

Possible City Contributions

• City of Peoria Enterprise Zone incentives
• Low interest loan programs

Submission Requirements

• A development plan shall be submitted consisting of a narrative, maps and design schematic.
• The Developer shall submit evidence of qualifications consisting of developer’s experience and three (3) references competent to speak to the developer’s experience.
• A statement of experience managing project(s) of similar size; a statement identifying any defaults and bankruptcy; and a list of financial institutions as references shall be submitted.
• A preliminary development proforma showing assumed sources and uses of funds shall be provided.

Review and Selection Basis for Proposals

Each criterion in the evaluation will be ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 equals the highest ranking of submittals received. A rank of 10 for any criterion indicates the most qualified firm for that criterion. Each numerical ranking will be multiplied by the weighted value below. A total point value for each submittal will be determined by the composite evaluation of the Selection Committee. The firm with the highest overall point total will be ranked first.

Request a copy of the RFP to see the requirements for submittal and decision by the City.

All proposals will be evaluated by City staff review committee. The committee may consist of members of the following Departments: Public Works, Economic Development, Planning and Growth Management. Final recommendations will be made to the City Council. Final authorization to enter into a contract can only be made by City Council; and until that occurs, there are no commitments by the City.

Proposal Process

Seven complete sets of the proposal and all supporting documentation must be submitted. Proposals shall be sent to:

Craig Hullinger
City of Peoria Department of Economic Development
419 Fulton, Suite 403
Peoria, IL 61602

Proposals will be accepted at the above address until 4:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time) on May 16, 2008.

Questions shall be directed to Craig Hullinger at: (309) 494-8639, chullinger@ci.peoria.il.us

City’s Selection Process

The City will enter into negotiations with the top ranked firm, if negotiations cannot be reached, the City will suspend negotiations with that firm and go to the next firm on the list. This process will continue until a firm is selected.

The City of Peoria reserves the right to reject any and all proposals received as a result of the Request for Proposals, or to negotiate in any manner necessary to serve the best interests of the City. If a minority and/or female owned small business is included, then a Business Plan for that small business must also be included.

Meeting / Inspection City Staff will conduct a meeting for interested parties on May 5, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. at 121 Morton, which will include a walk through of the building. This meeting is mandatory for anyone submitting an RFP.


Sustainable Development

Over 95 people attended the Sustainable Development Meeting on April 23, 2008, and they provided valuable information and proposals on how we could collectively improve our city and region. That information will be added to this blog shortly, and be used in the new City Comprehensive Plan and in the Economic Development marketing efforts.

Mayor Ardis has created a Sustainable Development Commission, which will lead our efforts. He named Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji as Chairman of the Commission. Dr. Al-Khafaji is Chairman of the Bradley University Civil Engineering and Construction Department.


Please join the leadership of Peoria to discuss what Peoria can do to encourage continued improvement in………

“Green Plays in Peoria”April 23, 2008
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.Gateway Building


5:30 p.m. Welcome - City of Peoria, Mayor Jim Ardis

5:35 p.m. New Urbanism/ Sustainable Development - Ray Lees, Planning Commission Chair & Craig Hullinger, Economic Development

5:40 p.m. Civil Engineering and Construction - Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji, Bradley University

5:45 p.m. Green Navigation – Brian Davie, Farnsworth Group

5:50 - 7:00 p.m. Participants will break into small 8-10 person groups and develop goals/strategies

7:00 - 7:30 p.m. Small group presents goals/strategies to larger groupThe goals and strategies developed by the participants will be considered in the development of the new City’s Comprehensive Plan.

More information at: http://peoriaed.blogspot.com

For comments or questions: Contact craighullinger@gmail.com

RSVP with Stephanie Grayson 309.494.8640 or sgrayson@ci.peoria.il.us

Sponsored by the City of Peoria and the Civil Engineering and Construction Department at Bradley University


Peoria’s One World Café

Peoria’s One World Café is proud to announce the opening of the company’s newest addition, The Green Dragon Lounge. The Lounge is One World’s new bar featuring extra seating and customer waiting area with the signature charm of a culturally eclectic environment located inside One World Café, on the corner of Main St. and University. The bar is now open and offers a new element to One World with the addition of draft beer, a new line of wines and the same great Homemade Sangria that they are known for. Patrons can now enjoy a visit even later on Thursday, Friday and Saturday ni ghts with One World’s new lounge hours.

"The Green Dragon tavern was the meeting place in the days of Paul Revere; a place for drinking, eating and socializing. Taverns later turn into the local community bars and diners like what we have today. One W orld is the combination of a modern day tavern and diner, a gathering place to eat, drink and socialize; a platform to discuss business, political, social and spiritual ideas and entertain ourselves in a comfortable, warm, eclectic environment" says Sam Eid, co-owner and CEO of One World, about the new lounge.

One World opened its doors as a coffee shop in 1993 and by 1995 had completed its first full expansion that included a new dining room and menu. Other major renovations to the building occurred both inside and out in 2002. Since then, One World has added a full catering department and now operates downtown Peoria’s Packard Plaza banquet and meeting facility.

The City of Peoria was pleased to assist One World with a facade improvement grant and a low interest business expansion loan. It is great to see an expanded business in Renaissance Park on Main Street.

For interviews, questions or further information, please contact Sam Eid by phone at (309) 472-6803. You can also email One World via their website, www.OneWorld-Cafe.com, and click on the ‘Contact Us’ link for a department contact listing.


"Excellence in Innovation Partnership" Award

Congratulations to the Central Illinois Workforce Board.

Central Illinois Workforce Development Board and Talent Force 21 Partnership received the Excellence in Innovative Partnership Award on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at the Hilton St. Louis Missouri at GLEATA (Great Lakes Employment and Training Association (GLEATA) Conference.

The Excellence in Innovative Partnership Award recognizes and honors the outstanding achievement of those One-Stops and their partner organizations whose accomplishments have served to benefit and inspire the workforce development system. It highlights local initiatives within the ten state region the embody the following: innovation, collaboration, replicabilty, quality, performance, sustainability, impact and linkages.


The Peoria Fountain - Click on the Image to Make it Larger

The fountains shown in this image and the one below could be a great attraction for the Peoria region. The smaller fountains are estimated to cost $150,000 a piece, with an estimated additional $100,000 endowment to pay for energy, maintenance and replacement costs.

The larger fountain would cost about $500,000 each, with an estimated $400,000 endowment to pay for maintenance, energy, and maintenance costs. The smaller fountains could run during the day and early evening in the summer. The larger fountains could run on weekends at 5:00 pm, or on festivals and holidays. The musical theme of the fountains could be “Hands Across the Water”, and/or “Meet Me in the Middle.” Colored lights in the evening would add to the effect.

Fountain in Geneva, Switzerland

This famous fountain in Geneva, Switzerland has become a symbol of the city and a major tourist attraction.

Fountain on Chicago River

This fountain shoots over the Chicago River
just east of Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

The Buckingham Fountain in downtown Chicago
was donated by the Buckingham Family.


Will it Play in Peoria?

Wikapedia explains the genesis of

"Will it Play in Peoria"


Will it play in Peoria?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The saying, "Will it play in Peoria?" is traditionally used to ask whether a given product, person, promotional theme or event will appeal to mainstream (also called "Main Street") America, or across a broad range of demographic/psychographic groups. The phrase originated during the vaudeville era and was popularized in movies by Groucho Marx.[1] The belief was that if a new show was successful in Peoria, a main midwestern stop for vaudville acts, it would be successful anywhere. The phrase subsequently was adopted by politicians, pollsters and promoters to question the potential mainstream acceptance of anything new.

According to William Safire, President Nixon’s administration perpetuated the phrase: John Ehrlichman was heard using it when talking about campaigning in the Midwest.[2]

Old booklet, How to enter Vaudeville.
Old booklet, How to enter Vaudeville.

In the United States, Peoria, Illinois, has legendary status as a test market. Peoria has long been seen as a representation of the average American city, because of its demographics and its perceived mainstream Midwestern culture. In the 1960s and 1970s, Peoria was deemed an ideal test market by various consumer-focused companies, entertainment enterprises (films and concert tours), even politicians, to gauge opinion, interest and receptivity to new products, services and campaigns.[3]

In the 1980s, comedians like Sam Kinison and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Phil Collins each perfected and launched concert tours in Peoria. During Presidential campaigns, major TV networks would visit Peoria to 'take the pulse' (gauge the response) of everyday Americans on national issues and candidates.

Peoria's historical test market status can be attributed to a number of factors. At one time Peoria was at the country's population center (a point which has since moved South and West, as more Americans move away from the Northeast to the Southwest). The term 'Heartland of America' refers to this region,[4] though over the years the moniker has been embraced by other markets as well.

The city is also located approximately halfway between two major midwestern cities, (Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri).

Perhaps most important, at one time Peoria closely reflected the diversity of the United States population in terms of race, income, age, rural and business interests, educational background and other key criteria.[citation needed]

While Peoria is still considered the "test market capital of the world", other cities such as Albany, New York; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Santa Barbara, California, are more commonly selected as test markets today for greater testing precision.


Welcome to Main Street

Congratulations and thanks to Donald Goertzen and Amit Bhanti, owners of Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics, a fine new company moving to 741 and 725 Main Street in Renaissance Park.

Read all about it in the Peoria Journal Star: