Blog Peoria

Blog Peoria is an effort to get all the bloggers in the region networked back into a master blog. The effort led by Bill Dennis should improve communications and networking. Take a look at the blogs listed under:

Riverfront Photos


Amazing Home Values in Peoria

List Price $99,900

MLS #1104617

A 4 bedroom home with
3,280 square feet of living space.


Date: December 23, 2008

Released by: Alma Brown, Communications Manager, 494-8554, 453-4070


Peoria – As the national economy declines, and local businesses and families make financial sacrifices, the City of Peoria continues to prepare itself for any possible downturn in revenues. In early December, the City Council unanimously approved the budget for fiscal year 2009. This “maintenance budget” sustained service levels without raising taxes. The revenue projections that comprise the underpinnings of the budget were very conservative and reflective of the economic climate. The City’s finance staff has a long track record of correctly projecting revenues. Remarkably, especially in consideration of the national picture, 2008 revenues to date are generally 1% higher than estimated last year.

On the expense side, the 2009 budget made some realistic adjustments to operations that will save money. Each department made sacrifices, including the elimination of 3 positions. Some capital purchases and improvements have been delayed for one year. Reorganization of the City’s health benefits program has saved nearly $2 million.

“The 2009 budget process helped us lay the groundwork for better cooperation and planning,” says Mayor Jim Ardis. “The work is not yet done, though. Families in Peoria, especially in light of recent announcements from Caterpillar, are taking a hard look at their finances and deciding where they might need to make cuts. The City always looks to use tax dollars most efficiently, but those efforts will be re-doubled in the coming months.”

Beyond the measures taken during the budget process, the City is identifying a number of cost-cutting steps. Those steps include:

Instituting a sensible hiring freeze starting on January 1, 2009;
Implementing recommendations from a recently completed report by the Energy Efficiency Task Force that will reduce fuel and electricity costs;
Reducing the number of employee take-home cars; and,
Realizing a savings of approximately $150,000 in the City’s refuse collection contract.

In early January, at the direction of the City Council, the entire senior staff of the City will gather for a series of workshops that will identify further contingency plans to be enacted if revenues are depressed. The finance staff is constantly monitoring receipts in order to identify trends before they become realities.

Despite some negative news stories, there is also a good deal of positive news in Peoria. “Things really are better in Peoria,” added Mayor Ardis. “We certainly do not diminish the impact of recent announcements on area families and businesses, but considering the national economic climate, Peoria has been truly resilient.”

The Mayor pointed to a number of healthy signs, including the stability and affordability of the housing market, growth in the medical sector, and relative strength in the Peoria retail market. Further, a number of large construction projects, either in progress or planned, will help keep people employed. Those projects include Bradley University’s Athletic Performance Center, the expansions at Methodist Medical Center and OSF St. Francis Hospital, and the new terminal building at the Peoria International Airport. The recently approved Marriott Pere Marquette hotel project will create hundreds of other construction jobs in the coming months.

One key role of local government is to ensure the vitality of the economy, which is evidenced by the projects listed above and others. It is also the responsibility of the City’s leadership to be constantly monitoring its finances and adjusting and sacrificing when necessary. As stewards of the citizens’ resources, the Mayor, City Council and City staff will continue to live within its means while providing the best possible services to Peoria.

EDC News

Economic Climate Report

On December 8th, over 200 business leaders, media and general public listened intently as speakers shared their insights on the regional and national economic situation. The event, held at the Michel Student Center Ballroom on the Bradley University Campus, featured two economists from Bradley and Jim McConoughey, president of The Heartland Partnership.Click here to check out the presentations.

EDC is Now Soliciting Sites for Retail Study

The Retail Strategy Group for the EDC is about to launch a regional retail study. The EDC is in the process of accepting sites to be included in the upcoming study which will provide the information regarding retail potential for each targeted development/redevelopment site.

Click here for more information on the Retail Study.


Chicago, St. Louis, & the Heartland

The two largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in Illinois are Chicago to the north and St Louis to the south. But the composite area formed by the MSA's of Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign, Decatur, and Springfield also form a significant metro area. The cost of doing business in our region is lower, housing is more affordable, and there are very few traffic delays. Small is beautiful.

MSA ______________Population_ Median Household
_____________________________ Income

Chicago–Gary–Kenosha_9,157,540___ __$51,046
St. Louis, MO–IL _____ 2,603,607 __ _ __44,437
Heartland Composite _ 1,056,543__ _ _ _ 42,103

1. Heartland Composite includes non MSA Counties

Bloomington–Normal____150,433_____ $47,021
Champaign–Urbana_____179,669______ 37,780
Decatur, IL___________ 114,706______ 37,859
Peoria–Pekin_________ 347,387______ 42,986
Springfield___________ 201,437______ 43,180

The link below shows the

Metropolitan Statistical Areas of Illinois.


The blog below shows a larger Heartland including Danville and the Quad Cities, with about 1,700,000 people.







Gret new medical community investment the:

Illinois Medical Center
Long Term Acute Care Hospital
OSF Children’s Hospital
Methodist Hospital Expansion
Illinois Eye Center
Heart Care Midwest

Completed I-74 Reconstruction
Created a Public Private Partnership for a Full Service Marriott Hotel
Created the Hospitality Improvement Zone and Business District
Developed the Southern Gateway Plan
Developed the Eagle View aand Warehouse District Plans
Demolished Sears Block for Caterpillar Visitor Center and new Museum
Continued Commercial Expansion at Grand Prairie

Sustainable Development and Green Technology Commission formed
Developed the Innovation Center to Expand High Tech Businesses
Implemented the Renaissance Park and Heart of Peoria Plan
Developed Prospect and Sheridan Road Revitalization Plan
Expanded and improved the Enterprise Zone
Ten Tax Increment Financing District redevelopments underway
Three New School / Neighborhood Improvement Zones planned
Assisted the start up of Globe Energy, Drumheller Bag and Firefly

More Photos & Info




Printable version in Word on the link below:




Housing Prices

Very interesting graphic above.
The source of the image and some interesting info about Peoria on the page below:

Full Service Marriott Hotel Approved

The City Council approved the Full Service Marriott Hotel last night.  The Public Private Partnership between the City of Peoria and EM Properties Ltd will see the redevelopment of the historic Pere Marquette Hotel into a 475 to 500 room hotel. A new 200 plus room tower will be built, and the Pere rehabbed to Marriott standards. An elevated connector will be built to the Civic Center.

This improvement will enable the City of Peoria to recapture the "Queen City" status of being the conference and convention center for the middle of Illinois. This will be the largest hotel south of Chicago in Illinois, connected to the largest Convention Center.

More info on:

Watch the Video at:


Good Scoop from the Heartland Partnership

Local Officials Want To Have Economic Stimulus Project List Ready Soon


1470 WMBD Jonny King Reporting

Officials in central Illinois want to be ready to go with specific projects when and if the new federal administration makes good on an economic stimulus plan. 


Hoping For Big Bucks From Obama
Central Illinois Proud - Bloomington,IL,USA
Heartland Partnership President Jim McConoughey says, "What we need to be able to do is assemble the projects into a list that has economic development ...

Peoria weathering the economic storm for now


Ed Hammond Reporting 1470 WMBD

A lesson in the national and local economy takes place at Bradley University. Heartland Partnership teamed with Bradley to gather civic and business leaders to talk about how Peoria is affected by the recession.


BU seminar shares economic prognosis
Peoria Journal Star - Peoria,IL,USA
BU economists Bob Scott and Joshua Lewer reviewed what led to the economic meltdown and offered a look at government efforts designed to head off further ...


Economic Analysis
WEEK-TV - East Peoria,IL,USA
(AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams) By Gina Ford Despite the economic recession, Peoria continues to thrive...tonight Bradley University and Heartland Partnership ...

Economy a challenge for eateries
Peoria Journal Star - Peoria,IL,USA
Soaring gas prices caused people to cut back on going out," said Jim McConoughey, president and CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. ...

Sears block deadline extended

By John Sharp

of the Journal Star

Posted Dec 09, 2008 @ 11:58 PM

PEORIA — A deadline extension of a redevelopment agreement for the old Sears block into the much-discussed Riverfront museum was approved by the City Council Tuesday.


Mark your calendars! 

Peoria Robotics $850,000 grant announcement

December 19, 2008 8:30 a.m.

Peoria Next Innovation Center

801 W. Main Street


Sustainable Development

Great articles on Sustainability in the Peoria Magazine.
Check it out at:

More information on Sustainability and Green Technology in Peoria at:


Look for economic hard times to continue into next year, but expect signs of improvement by the third quarter of 2009.

That was the consensus of participants in a seminar Monday at Bradley University where 200 people gathered to hear about the national financial crisis.

Read about it at:



The current issue of IBI Peoria Magazine issue focuses on Economic Develpoment. 

Read about it at: