A Publication of WTVP

Another major development for Peoria’s riverfront was recently announced. David Bielfeldt plans to renovate the city-owned Foster & Gallagher building, converting the vacant factory building into loft condominiums. The 200,000-square-foot, multi-million dollar project will include 80 loft-style condos with retail space on the ground level.

The Bielfeldt Foundation and Caterpillar Inc., in a joint announcement designed to spur further investment in riverfront development in Peoria, announced in April that they will invest $6 million to support the community’s goal of revitalizing the riverfront in downtown Peoria.

They Said It…
"To help create a Congress that will ‘stop bickering and get down to work,’ Congressman David Skaggs, a Colorado Democrat, and I are organizing a bipartisan retreat to help promote civility in the upcoming Congress. The retreat that we are organizing will be a way for us to get together outside of the Washington ‘beltway.’"
-Congressman Ray LaHood

"I have leukemia. I haven’t tried to hide that fact in the approximately three months since I received the news, but since it will become apparent over the next few months, here it is for the record. There are times in life when, because of one event, you realize you will never be the same again. In most instances, that is a good thing, or it can be if you let it (or make it) be. That’s the way I see this. Life is a challenge."

-IBI Editor David C. Wright

"I’ve always thought Peoria’s waterfront was beautiful. Over the years, the city had purchased a lot of the properties on the riverfront, demolished the dilapidated buildings there, and otherwise taken the steps necessary to make this area attractive for new development. With the city preparing the master plan for the riverfront, and the enthusiasm generated from that plan, I thought the time was right for riverfront development to finally be possible in a big way."
Mike Wisdom, Wisdom Development Group

For the past six months, over 400 business and community leaders have been receiving daily one-page executive news faxes each afternoon. Summit Daily Executive Bulletin, produced by InterBusiness Issues and WMBD News, contains the latest in local, state and national news, along with closing stock market reports. Summit was the first local print media to report on such stories as Caterpillar’s record earnings, restructuring at CILCO, the closing of Peoria’s International Paper plant, Cat-UAW labor announcements and riverfront development plans. "No doubt eventually Summit will be received on readers’ PC screens rather than fax machines," said WMBD General Manager Gene Robinson. "Technology is changing rapidly."

The Peoria Journal Star was sold to Copley Press Inc. in May. Sources say Copley paid $174.5 million for the Journal Star and the Galesburg Register Mail. The Journal Star has been employee-owned since 1983, but the board of directors said the paper could not afford to keep up with payments to early retirees.

Central Illinois Business Publishers announced it will begin publishing a new monthly magazine devoted to the arts in central Illinois. The new venture will be a partnership with numerous not-for-profit companies making up the area arts community. CIBP hopes to launch the new magazine, called Arts Alive!, in late spring.

A joint project of InterBusiness Issues and WEEK-TV 25, Central Illinois’ Ten Most Powerful Leaders were determined by a poll of central Illinois businesses and residents, including 1,700 written surveys and an area-wide random phone survey. A similar survey was conducted by WEEK in May 1985. Only Peoria Mayor Jim Maloof, newly elected in 1985, appeared on both lists. The 1996 list includes: 

  1. Caterpillar CEO Donald V. Fites
  2. Congressman Ray LaHood
  3. State Farm CEO Edward B. Rust, Jr.
  4. Developer Diane Cullinan
  5. Peoria Mayor James A. Maloof
  6. State Rep. David Leitch
  7. Businessman Lowell "Bud" Grieves
  8. State Sen. John Maitland
  9. Philanthropists Gary & Carlotta Bielfeldt
  10. Peoria City Councilman Steve Kouri

The 1985 list included the following leaders: Robert Michel, David Connor, Ray Becker, George Schaefer, James Maloof, Edward O’Rourke, Prescott Bloom, Harry Whittaker, James Daken and Richard Carver. Visit to read profiles of the 1996 winners.

  • The Prudential Cullinan Properties grand opening of its Harbor Pointe residential development took place in mid-May.
  • The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria launched its first-ever capital fundraising campaign at a 25th anniversary celebration in March.
  • Caterpillar‘s U.S. exports topped the $5 billion mark last year for the first time in the company’s history.
  • The seven-acre site on Knoxville Ave., which formerly served as district headquarters for the Illinois Department of Transportation, was formally conveyed to the Peoria Park District on July 19th for $1.
  • The City’s Riverfront Business District Commission is considering a baseball stadium on the riverfront, which would primarily be used as a new home for the Peoria Chiefs.
  • Peoria’s newly developing RiverFront Park will be the scene of this year’s 34th annual Fine Arts Fair. This is the first time the event has been held downtown or near the river.
  • The Simantel Group purchased the old Luthy agricultural implement building from the Illinois Antique Center and plans to remodel it to house its advertising and marketing business.
  • The Crooked Waters Brewery and Pub, the first of its kind in Peoria, is now open for business.

InterBusiness Issues is now available on the Internet. Current plans are for the magazine’s articles to be available online at about the same time the magazine hits the street. The Internet address is

WMBD-TV became the first central Illinois television station to offer a "home page" on the internet’s World Wide Web. The station’s address is

"The smokestacks of Peoria are not as numerous as they once were. Much of the work in the local economy today gets done from air-conditioned offices via phone lines and computer key strokes, reflecting the demands of the greater marketplace. There’s certainly nothing wrong with those kinds of changes. I just hope, amidst the electronic wizardry, technological wonder and fancy packaging characteristic of many of today’s new enterprises, we never lose sight of the fact that all the style and salesmanship in the world is no substitute for substance, for the old-fashioned work ethic and concern for quality."
-InterBusiness Issues Editor David C. Wright

"One of the difficulties of the Internet, however, is how you negotiate business. How do you make a financial transaction on the Internet? We haven’t found adequate ways to do that yet. We’ve found ways to inform people. We’ve found ways to educate people. We’ve found ways to market our products. But we have not yet found a way to transact business on the Internet. I think that will come as people go through the learning curve. I believe it will happen."
Larry E. Clore, President and CEO, Multi-Ad Services, Inc. iBi