The acres of concrete on the East Peoria/Downtown 2010 site may be gray, but the project has a green foundation. Even if individual project developers do not embrace “green” development, the EP 2010 project contains fundamental, environmentally conscious elements. The site consists of industrial properties that have been cleared by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and require no further remediation. This redevelopment also eliminates the need to extend existing infrastructure that could be associated with developing equivalent greenfield sites and, given the size and location of the development, provides a unique opportunity for connectivity within the existing community.
Master planning guidelines will include additional provisions to ensure availability of public transportation, the inclusion of extensive green and open spaces, and a strategic combination of uses to maximize the utility of the site. While individual project designers will have a great deal of flexibility, controls will be in place to help optimize densities and provide a cohesive development that is pedestrian-friendly and a true asset to the city of East Peoria and the surrounding region. The mix of civil, commercial and retail uses will not only promote economic development in the area, but also greater livability and a higher quality of life.
With these fundamental starting blocks and consistent new evidence showing strong links between sustainable design practices and worker health and productivity, the assumption that many or all of the individual developments within EP 2010 will incorporate other eco-friendly decisions is well founded. Whether or not buildings pursue LEED certification or any other program for documenting the environmental impact of the construction and operation of a commercial building, EP 2010 is poised to become a regional leader in sustainable development. With a mix of uses, a flexible master planning framework and a progressive City Council and community whose eyes are focused on the future, the sky is the limit for EP 2010. iBi