There were two major items of interest involving Renaissance Park during the past 30 days. The first item that received considerable coverage was the potential purchase of land along Main Street, across from the future Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, for building a long-term acute-care hospital (LTACH). The LTACH is a joint venture between Methodist Medical Center, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, and RehabCare Group. An LTACH is a specialty hospital that focuses on patients who have a minimum 25-day hospitalization. For example, a common type of patient utilizing an LTACH is ventilator-dependent; many of these patients may require months of hospitalization. LTACHs exist because reimbursement doesn’t allow these patients to be part of an existing acute-care hospital.
Over the past several months, numerous attempts to acquire property along Main have been made. Unfortunately, it appears that accumulating the appropriate number of parcels to build the LTACH in Renaissance Park isn’t going to happen. All joint venture partners were extremely enthusiastic about locating in Renaissance Park. The obvious opportunity to increase property values, stabilize the neighborhoods, and bring high-paying jobs to the Renaissance Park area would be another sign of a true “Renaissance” for the district.
I’d like to thank City Manager Randy Oliver and Economic Development Specialist Chris Setti for their support of this project. They were both very accessible and creative in assisting efforts to build the LTACH. They appreciated the value the project had to Renaissance Park, the neighborhoods, District 150, and others, and did everything in their power to make this project happen.
The second item receiving coverage revolves around institutional planning. A number of years ago an ordinance creating institutional zones was implemented, allowing designated institutions to create institutional plans that, once approved, wouldn’t have to go back for further review, as long as the plan was being followed. A recommendation has been made requiring institutions seeking an amendment to their institutional plans within a 10-year period to obtain a super majority vote from the council. The institutions involved are Methodist Medical Center, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Proctor Hospital, Illinois Central College, Bradley University, and Midstate College. Over the next several weeks the institutions will be communicating their responses to the city council and the mayor.
We continue to receive very positive feedback from realtors concerning the increase in property value in the Renaissance Park area. The neighborhoods themselves are conducting activities to further showcase the uniqueness of their areas. For example, in cooperation with Kallister Realty, a one-day open house was held July 16 for all homes for sale in Renaissance Park. Another example is the recent addition of Renaissance Park banners throughout the district.
I encourage you to take a drive along Main Street—you’ll certainly see the signs of Renaissance. IBI