As the dust settles on earlier projects, the city is gearing up for even more new development.
It has been nearly four years since I last wrote about the East Peoria/Downtown development project here in iBi, and since then, much has happened! As I write this article, foundations are going in and entire buildings are being constructed. Meanwhile, the themes of mixing new and old styles of development along with preserving space for community events and alternative modes of transportation continue to prevail.
Below is a list of projects currently underway, along with their projected completion dates and a brief description of each.
- Costco. Its first location in downstate Illinois, this 150,000-square-foot warehouse store promises to be a big hit here. This location is projected to open later this year in mid-November—just in time for the holidays.
- Target. This 135,000-square-foot store will be the company’s second location in the area. As you can imagine, Target (along with Costco) is a major retail anchor that will draw numerous businesses to the downtown area. It is scheduled to open in March 2013.
- Complementary retail space. Cullinan Properties is committed to bringing at least 100,000 square feet of retail space adjacent to the new Target store. This space will include a mix of retail shops and restaurants and will open by the time Target opens in March 2013. Many of these spaces will be located close to West Washington Street and allow for outdoor dining and buildings that face both the street (sidewalks) and parking areas. So far, Gordmans and Ulta have been announced, with more to come soon.
- Fondulac Library and shared space. This new 32,000-square-foot, two-story library will offer state-of-the-art services to its patrons and open in summer 2013. Additionally, there will be attached flexible meeting space to the library which will be shared by the library and the city for events and meetings. Adjacent to this development will be a civic plaza connected to the River Trail of Illinois via a pedestrian promenade. These public spaces will enhance the overall development by providing a venue for outdoor festivals and markets.
- Holiday Inn & Suites. This 137-room facility will offer a full-service restaurant and meeting space. This six-story tall building is visible now and will open in the summer of 2013.
- Hometown Community Bank. This building will be three stories, as tall as the hotel, and look as attractive from the parking-area side as it does from the street. It will incorporate many of the bank’s services into one location and will open in late summer of 2013.
As you can see, there is a bevy of activity occurring in this new development area concurrently. To have this many projects all underway at once is no small feat and can be attributed to our dedicated elected officials and city staff—both past and present. The success of this area can be directly linked to developments over the past decade, including the Embassy Suites and Bass Pro Shops. The latter location attracted over one million visitors in its first four months of operation and continues to be a regional draw for the area.
This new downtown for East Peoria builds upon that success and will be a great destination, not only for its residents, but for the entire central Illinois region. We look forward to the openings of these businesses and more announcements to come in the future! iBi