A Publication of WTVP

In early January, Commerce Bank made a significant, albeit short, move across the street in downtown Peoria. The new, 17,000-square-foot space occupying the first and second floors of the Becker Building at 401 Main Street is now home to the bank’s executive offices as well as Commerce Trust Company, a division of the bank serving its commercial and wealth management group.

Meanwhile across the street at 432 Main, a new space has opened for the bank’s retail customers. When the branch at 2609 N. Knoxville Avenue closed in December, many of its employees moved to the new downtown retail location, while others shifted to the branch at 8615 N. Knoxville in north Peoria.

The new retail location actually occupies a portion of a parking deck Commerce already owned, as well as a former retail space. “We found it to be a creative way to reuse that space and make it more convenient for customers,” explains Jonathan Williams, president of the Peoria market. “There’s reserved parking behind the branch and convenient street parking in front, as well as a drive-thru window.” 

Inside the Becker Building, a much larger renovation took place. The first and second floors were gutted down to the studs and reconfigured as offices and a trio of meeting spaces named for prominent politicians: the Lincoln room, the Roosevelt room and the Douglas room. The whole process took two years from concept to completion, with Farnsworth Group configuring the space and River City Construction building it out. 

“Modern conveniences and amenities such as wi-fi and video conferencing were built in to accommodate employees and clients,” Williams says—features they didn’t have in their previous space. The updated facility also includes ergonomic desks that can be raised or lowered so the 55 employees working there have the option of standing or sitting. In addition, art is prominently featured throughout the space, with an emphasis on showcasing local talent. 

“This was an opportunity to polish our image and provide the level of service our clients expect today,” Williams says. “Downtown Peoria has been our home for a long time, and with this investment we will continue to do business here for many years to come.” iBi