Downtown Riverfront Retail Study

Downtown Riverfront Retail Study

The City of Peoria is seeking quality commercial development to be colocated with our new Build the Block development. The site faces Water Street, adjacent to the new Museum and Caterpillar Visitor Center. The site is in the Enterprise Zone and TIF District. 

Build the Block Web Site

Market Research on Build the Block

Fly Around

Contact Craig Hullinger at 
hullingerc@gmail.com or 309 494 8640 
for more details.

Heartland Partnership on Facebook

We are social networking and would love for you to join us.  Get updates and find out what’s happening.   

Join The Heartland Partnership on Facebook!  

Join the It’s Better Here group on Facebook!   

Join the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook!

Join the EDC’s Facebook!

6th out of 239 Markets

Peoria ranks sixth nationally in a survey of 239 minor-league markets


The Center for Business and Economic Research

Bradley University

Foster College of Business Administration

Excellent information about our economy on the site below:


Unemployment rises to 12.3% in July. Very large increase

John Ackerman, Chairman of Tazewell County, provides an explanation for the large increase. Some of the increase is tied to the rolling layoffs.


Sustainable Development

Both the City of Peoria, Arizona, and the City of Peoria, Illinois, are working on Sustainable Development issues.  The link below outlines their planning efforts to date.



Governor Quinn & Secretary LaHood Award

The City Council of Peoria, Illinois approved a motion today to honor Governor Quinn and Secretary LaHood with a memorial located on the Peoria Riverfront near the Gateway Building.

Low Cost Social Network Marketing

The Economic Development department is using a number of free programs to market economic development opportunities in the City of Peoria, Illinois.  

We use a large number of blogs, all located at the address below:



We make frequent entries on the City of Peoria Economic News Blog:



We also place the entry on Linkedin:


After making a blog entry, we let people know on Twitter - you have to join to read - it is free and easy

And we make frequent entries on Facebook:



All for no cost to the city.

Search for an Existing Food Production Facility

A consultant is conducting a search for an existing food production facility and has requested our assistance.  Illinois and several other states have been contacted.  Estimated employment at full production is 40-50 workers (start-up 10-15) and planned investment is $2-$5 million.  The client very much prefers a former food production facility that offers approximately 100,000 square feet of space.  Ideally they would like to know that it was previously FDA approved.  The company produces confectionary products.  Of secondary importance is a location that could offer incentives that would significantly lower their costs.  As such, they are willing to consider build-to-suit opportunities, if potential incentives are particularly attractive.

Here is summary of the project requirements:

·         Former food production facility - facility would include: floor drains, sloped flooring and wash down walls

·         Facility space specifications:

o   Total - 100,000 sq. ft.

o   Warehouse - 50,000 sq. ft.

o   Production - 30,000 sq. ft.

o   Refrigeration - 3,000 sq. ft. (the consultant expects a food facility could be modified to meet this requirement)

o   Clear ceiling height - 15'

·         2 dock level truck doors

·         Willing to lease or purchase and leasing space in a multi-tenant facility is acceptable

·         3 acres are needed

·         No utility requirements provided at this time


The consultant estimated a couple of months to select a site and 8-10 months to install the equipment in the new facility.  If they find a very attractive build-to-suit opportunity, the company is willing to allow the necessary time to construct the facility.


For communities that would like to respond to this site search request, please e-mail facility or site information to david.pierson@illinois.gov by noon, Monday, August 31, 2009.  In addition, information on any potential incentives should be included as well.  Besides the types of incentives that are commonly available, the consultant feels a location in a foreign trade zone could be advantageous.


Thank you in advance,




Dave Pierson

Economic Development Representative

IL Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

100 W. Randolph St., Suite 3-400

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312-814-1346

Fax: 312-814-5247

E-mail: david.pierson@illinois.gov

Illinois State Energy Program

The US Department of Energy (DOE) approved the State Plan and the State Energy Program Stimulus programs were approved. The link to the State stimulus page is:


More info....

On August 14, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved the Illinois’ Energy Plan submitted as part of the Federal State Energy Program (SEP). DOE’s approval gives Illinois authority to move forward with implementing the plan, which is the most comprehensive effort to date to address the state’s energy production needs. Over $100 million in federal recovery funding will be available for grants to implement the plan.

Click Here for a link to the programs that support the Illinois Energy Plan.

The development of Green roofs offers strong environmental, ecological, and economic benefits.   This program will facilitate the development of green roofs in the state of Illinois.  Eligible projects include those where a building roof will be partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil, or a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofs will provide economic development, a carbon capture system and energy and maintenance cost savings. 

Applications due October 1, 2009.

Click Here for the GREEN ROOFS PROGRAM Application

In June 2008 Illinois initiated a robust electric efficiency portfolio in the electric service territories of its two largest utilities (Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Illinois).  This program is designed to fill the gaps in energy efficiency support for Illinois public sector entities that are located outside of the ComEd and Ameren Illinois electric utility service territories.  Also targeted are non ComEd and Ameren Illinois electric utilities (municipal and cooperative utilities) in an effort to provide seed money to initiate electric efficiency programs. 

Applications due October 1, 2009.

Click Here for the ELECTRIC EFFICIENCY PROGRAM Application

The Program will provide grants to public sector entities for improving the energy efficiency of thermal equipment or processes.  Measures will include natural gas system efficiency improvements and geothermal systems among others.  The incentives are available to units of local, state, and federal government, schools, community colleges and universities.

Applications due October 1, 2009.


In June 2008 Illinois initiated a robust electric efficiency portfolio in the electric service territories of its two largest utilities (Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Illinois).  This program is designed to fill the gaps in energy efficiency support for Illinois industrial complexes and other large energy users.  These include notably natural gas measures as well as non ComEd and Ameren Illinois electric utilities (municipal and cooperative utilities, etc.). 

Applications due October 1, 2009.


Illinois boasts significant potential for renewable power generation: wind, solar, biogas, biomass and hydro-electric production offer both economic and environmental benefits. This program is designed to  foster the investment in and the development and use of renewable energy resources to generate significant amounts of clean, renewable, American made energy that can be generally sold into the electricity market.  Facilitation of such investment in renewable energy projects will bring strong economic development benefits including new income streams, new jobs, new investment, and new property tax revenues for local governments.

Applications due October 26, 2009.


While a number of utility-scale wind projects are currently under development in Illinois, so-called small scale, "community wind" projects are not financially viable without assistance.  This program is targeted at smaller projects developed by entities such as municipal electric utilities, cooperative electric utilities, schools, universities, local governments or partnerships between these entities to install a small number (1-3) of average sized (1 MW) wind turbines. 

Applications due October 26, 2009.



The focus of the Green Business Development Grant Program is to support domestic renewable energy and energy efficiency adoption through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses and component manufacturers, producers of dedicated biomass crops, and the manufacturers of recycled content products.  The Program targets projects that develop and expand these manufacturing sectors and corresponding supply chains while improving the economy of the State through new business development.  Manufacturers or producers funded through this Program will expand Illinois’ capabilities to support further development of markets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and recycled content products.  Expanded supply for these markets will reduce energy usage, expand renewable energy production, divert material from municipal solid waste landfills, and reduce GHG emissions in Illinois.

Applications due October 26, 2009.


A number of technological improvements are now available that can be used to improve the environmental aspects and resource efficiency of biofuels manufacturing processes.  This program is designed to support the adoption of critical improvements.  Eligible projects are those that plan to adopt technologies that increase the overall efficiency of the renewable fuel production process or reduce the overall full life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of the renewable fuel produced.   Such processes include measures that:

  • Improve water conservation
  • Improve energy conservation
  • Add value to bio-fuel co-products and bi-products
  • Adopt fractionation processes
  • Utilize corn fiber conversion
  • Utilize cellulosic conversion

Applications due October 26, 2009.


For more info contact: 

Scott Petty

Account Manager, North Central Region

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

100 SW Water St.

Peoria, IL 61602

Work: 309-676-5704

Cell:   309-264-7553

Fax:   309-676-5703



Roundabouts (Traffic Circles, Rotaries)

Interesting article about roundabouts.  I have often wondered why they are so popular in England, but so rare in the US. Instead of a stop light or stop sign, traffic interections in England are often one way rotaries, or roundabouts.  Traffic does not have to stop, but proceeds slowly around the rotary until they reach their exit.

The system requires drivers to slow down to navigate the roundabout, but does not require a stop unless traffic warrants.  Fatal fatalities are probably reduced - someone missing a stop sign or stop light can create a dangerous high speed crash with both cars traversing the intersetion at high speed.  The slow speeds required by the roundabout probably reduces high speed crashes. But there may be more fender benders.

My observations in Europe is that they work best in low traffic areas. They are confusing and difficult when traffic heavy.  


Peoria Housing Market http://www.zillow.com/

http://www.zillow.com  provides a great deal of interesting information about housing.  The site contains aerial photographs, estimated housing values, sales data, and some listing.

The graph below was taken from Zillow.  It shows that housing values are considerably lower in Peoria then in Illinois and the US.   The drop in value was also not as pronounced in Peoria relative to the State and the US.

The aerial photo below shows a portion of the Uplands at University and Columbia Terrace. Zillow shows an estimated value of each home, and recent sales.  The data is not always accurate, but still provides a convenient and quick snapshot of value. 

  • The information below was taken from Zillow, and shows the estimated values and sales prices of homes.

    • Sold: $123,500
    • Zestimate: $129,000
    • 3 Beds
    • 1.5 Baths
    • 1,500 sqft
    • Built: 1914
    • Lot Size: 5,900
    • Sold On: 11/05/2007
    • Sold: $115,000
    • Zestimate: $131,000
      Sold On: 04/30/2008
  • Sold: $84,000
    Zestimate: $88,500
    Sold On: 05/18/2007

    • Recently Sold: $128,000
    • Zestimate: $132,000
    • 4 Beds
    • 2.5 Baths
    • 1,883 sqft
    • Built: 1912
    • Lot Size: 4,636
    • Sold On: 03/26/2009

  • Interesting Article in the Economist about housing


    Southtown Tax Increment Financing District

    Tax Increment Financing is controversial.  But there is no question that it is a great way to build tax base and jobs.  The Southtown TIF is the oldest TIF in the City of Peoria and one of the oldest in Illinois.  The graph and chart show that the value of real estate within the TIF grew much faster then the City and District 150.  In 2013, the TIF will be completed, and the tax revenues will go to all the local goverments.

    TIF Works in Peoria

    The graph and chart below show how effectively the two new Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF's)  have worked.  Despite "The Great Recession of 2007-2009", Equalized Assessed Evaluation (EAV) has grown very rapidly in the TIF's, faster then the City as a whole and faster then School District 150.  150 lags the City because it's boundary misses the rapidly developing north side of the City.  

    We believe these numbers support the continued use of Tax Increment Financing.  We want our older neighborhoods to thrive and improve, and TIF is one of the best ways to help that process.

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    25,000 SF to 40,000 Square Feet Needed

    We are interested in building a data center in or around Peoria.   

    25,000 SF to 40,000 SF buildings will work. 

    We would like to evaluate buildings with access to 4MW to 5 MW of power in the area.  Send them as you find them, instead of a final list.

    Redundant Power is the most important issue. 

    Having one substation with plenty of MW of power available close to the site is good.

    The ultimate Redundant Power is a site that can be fed by two (2) substations, which is rare.

    Could you send a list of the fiber optic carriers in Peoria?     

    The client will invest $15,000,000 to $20,000,000 in the build out of the site.

    There will be 10 engineers there  and they usually make over $160,000/year.

    I wish to have a contact at the power company serving these buildings.

    Thank  you very much for your prompt consideration of the project.

    Please send me your proposed buildings by email to 

    Craig Hullinger  


    309 494 8640

    Will it Play in Peoria?

    The National Endowment for the Arts is Coming to Peoria.  

    Landesman_0817Rocco Landesman is the new Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. 

    In an interview with the New York Times, he said, 

    “I don’t know if there’s a theater in Peoria, but I would bet that it’s not as good as Steppenwolf or the Goodman. There is going to be some push-back from me about democratizing arts grants to the point where you really have to answer some questions about artistic merit.” 

    Our local arts community has asked him to come to Peoria, and he has agreed to visit in December.

    Will it Play in Peoria?

    Click on the links below for more info:



    Wall Street Journal Article

    A recent article appeared in the Wall Street Journal about the "Armadillo" crime fighting vehicle.

    Read the story on the link below:

    Our police department is proud of their inovative crime fighting method. But our real estate community feels that the article is negative, focusing on crime instead of facts such as:

    1. our metro market is 378,000, and has performed better than most throughout most of the recession;
    2. the medical industry by far largest employer here, followed retail and education; Caterpillar ranks 4th, and concentrates most of white collar work force here;

    Peoria has re-built itself since the last major national recession in the early 1980's into a truly new economy which fared better than most through most of this national recession.  We are a major regional medical hub with growing undergraduate and graduate schools at four colleges and universities. The University of Illinois runs a quality Medical School in our downtown.

    Most cities of any real size and depth have some crime problems. Peoria is no exception. And we are developing innovative ways to deter crime.

    Fox News ran the below video and telephone interview on their national live news show yesterday.  Comical opening piece with a man in an armadillo suit from the show "Friends."