A Publication of WTVP

Can the Peoria area support a regional mall? Developer Diane Cullinan is betting it can, and plans to develop a $50 to $80 million mall near the intersection of U.S. Route 150 and Illinois Route 6.

The Glen Hollow shopping center will be the location for a Barnes & Noble bookstore similar to the one located off Veteran’s Parkway in Bloomington. The upscale bookstore will occupy space adjacent to the HomeTown Buffet.

The East Peoria City Council gave initial approval to a development agreement for the proposed 500,000-square-foot Riverside Center retail development, including plans for a Super Wal-Mart store on East Peoria’s riverfront.

The success stories of Peoria real estate development got another shot in the arm courtesy of U.S. News & World Report when the national magazine named Peoria the sixth-hottest housing market in the nation in its April 10th issue. It noted Peoria’s diversification in recent years toward high-tech and information companies, as well as favorable rankings in housing appreciation and median price. Economic development officials were elated with yet another national endorsement of the area economy, which has seen a remarkable turnaround in the past decade.

The Peoria area is the fifth most popular destination for Americans relocating to mid-sized regions (populations between 100,000 and 300,000). Nearly 123 households moved into the Peoria area during the past year for every 100 that moved out, according to a study of relocation trends conducted by Ryder.

RLI Corp. was named to a select group of 34 of America’s "Fastest Growing Companies" by National Corporate Services. The company was also named one of the fastest growing publicly held firms in Illinois by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Teaming Up for March Madness
Word has it that the Champaign newspaper wanted to keep the Illinois High School Association state basketball finals at Assembly Hall so badly that it was prepared to offer several thousands of dollars in an incentive package to keep the annual tournament at the U of I.

But, it was too little, too late. Next March, the state high school boys’ basketball champions will be crowned on the floor of the Carver Arena! Hats off to the Peoria City Council, the Civic Center Authority, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Peoria hospitality businesses, and other individuals too numerous to mention.
It was a great team effort.

Keystone Steel & Wire Company and Independent Steel Workers Alliance in Bartonville were among four organizations selected as winners of the "Labor-Management Partners: On the Road to High Performance" award for their efforts to work together toward outstanding workplace performance.

In its June issue, Money magazine named Commerce Bank one of the top 50 banks in the United States.

What’s the best economic development tool available to the Peoria area? If the events of this spring are any indication of the future, it may just be the Greater Peoria Regional Airport. While many people view airports as important to economic development only from the standpoint of passenger travel, the Greater Peoria Regional Airport has spent years enhancing its capabilities to handle freight and industrial traffic as well. With the recent decisions by the U.S. Postal Service and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to locate facilities at the airport, the Peoria area stands to gain 900 jobs.

A group of local men has raised $3.3 million as part of an effort to start a new bank in Peoria. First Capital Bank, which would be the first new bank in Peoria since the 1970s, will be located in the Mt. Hawley Shopping Center on North Knoxville. The bank’s five organizers, all local businessmen, are Joseph O’Brien, Jim De Bord, John Elias, Dan Daly and William Niemeyer.

The Weaver/Cullinan Joint Venture, which will see a golf and residential development located between Charter Oak Road and Interstate 74 near Route 6, will have approximately 320 residential lots. Construction on the 18-hole championship golf course will begin this spring, and the target date for opening is sometime in the summer of 1996.

Longtime Caterpillar employee and Morton resident, Bertha Frank, bequeathed in her will that a performing arts center be constructed on the high school grounds in Morton. Her dream is about to become a reality. The proposed facility will feature a 500-seat auditorium built for both school and public usage.

Construction is underway on the Par-A-Dice Hotel adjacent to the Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino and Pavilion. Approximately $20 million will be spent on construction and furnishings of the large, multi-story hotel.

PMP Fermentation Products, Inc. will build a $50 million expansion to its existing plant along the Illinois River, with the help of a redevelopment agreement and establishment of a tax-increment finance district by the City of Peoria.

They Said It…
"Caterpillar has done what none of the Big Three automakers have had the fortitude or foresight to do-redefine historic labor relations ground rules in order to preserve the integrity and financial future of the company. Those who don’t understand the significance of the events happening in Peoria may want to keep a close eye on what happens at General Motors over the next few years."
-IBI Editor David C. Wright

"Peorians are the most optimistic people in the Midwest…We firmly believe, even if the rest of the country isn’t doing well, Peoria is going to do well. A lot of that comes from the lessons this community learned in the early ‘80s, as a result of the problems at Caterpillar."
-Commerce Bank President/CEO Peter W. Callow

"The business community is the single most significant influence in Peoria today. Most of the good things that have happened here are because business leaders have taken a positive role in supporting progress for this city."
-Peoria City Manager Peter Korn

The use of temporary help seems to be a permanent hiring trend-and one that’s likely to continue, according to a recent survey. More than two-thirds of executives polled said they expect the use of temps to increase during the next three years. Only nine percent predicted a decrease.

The business traveler in the ‘90s faces new challenges as well as the benefits of the electronic age, which today offers "ticketless travel," internet travel browsing, CD-Rom travel guides, in-house travel software and a host of other new technologies.

How is job uncertainty, downsizing and the changing workplace paradigm affecting our community and businesses?
"It’s affecting our community much the same way it is affecting most places across the United States…The kinds of problems we are experiencing here are the kinds of problems we are or will be experiencing in the very near-future: automation of the workfloor, restructuring of work, increased employee responsibility and autonomy, reduction of management layers, and increased demands for talented employees. Finding new ways of working smarter will be endless, and that will always contribute a sense of uncertainty and insecurity to workers with limited mobility, talent, skills and capacities to learn."
Dr. John F. Gilligan, Fayette Companies iBi