Peoria Regional Growth and Development Investments
There are great people doing great things in the Peoria Metro Region. If you take a step back and really look at what is happening, you’ll realize it’s pretty amazing, especially considering we are coming out of one of the worst recessions many of us have ever seen. Many regions shut down during the recession, but not the Peoria Metro Region. We continued to move forward and because of that perseverance, we have some regional developments that are going to move us high speed ahead.
The outdoor mega store, Bass Pro Shops, is slated to open its 58th location in East Peoria in the fall of 2011, which will bring a much appreciated boost to our regional economy. Since the store is considered a tourist destination in many communities, it will be a major asset for regional tourism bringing an expected average of three million people to the area annually. Besides the increase in dollars resulting from increased traffic to the region, the 146,000 square foot mega-store expects to bring over 200 construction jobs to the area. A new road will be built to access to the store site just north of the Murray Baker Bridge and I-74, as well as construction of the store itself. And, Bass Pro Shops plans to hire nearly 300 full-time employees once the store is open.
Another developments to highlight is the Cancer Research Center at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria. The Heartland Foundation is partnering with the University of Illinois to design and construct a state-of-the-art Cancer Research Center that will encompass two stories and consist of laboratory and office space totaling 20,000 square feet. This modern facility will allow for expanded research and discovery led by renowned scientist Dr. Jasti Rao. The construction of a Cancer Research Center will create a full continuum of healthcare opportunities at the College of Medicine. By providing a full range of medical opportunities at the College of Medicine, more doctors will be attracted to our region and Peoria’s reputation as dynamic center for outstanding healthcare will be further improved. This $9.6 million project is receiving funding from both public and private partnerships.
The downtown hotel project is another major development in the works. The 10-story Marriott Courtyard connected to the Hotel Pere Marquette in downtown Peoria is a $102 million project slated to open in 2013. The project was approved May 25th by the Peoria City Council with a 7-4 vote. This means the Hotel Pere Marquette will be renovated into a full-service hotel and the addition of a 10-story Marriott Courtyard will be built adjacent to it. Construction is expected to begin soon which, again, means additional jobs for the region.
And, let’s not forget the downtown regional museum project. The project will bring visitors from inside and outside of the region to downtown Peoria creating a increase to the regional economy. It will be complete with a state of the art regional museum, an IMAX theater, Caterpillar Visitor’s Center and more. Construction of the project will also provide a much-needed boost to building trades jobs to the area. Estimates indicate that the project would create up to 300 local construction jobs and $45 million in labor payroll over 25 months.
From the museum to the hotels and Bass Pro Shops, all of these developments will bring increased revenue, jobs and people to our region. Development helps regional economy and, in turn, keeps us growing. Here is an overview of many of the capital projects recently completed, in progress, awaiting funding or otherwise proposed. This list is continues to grow.
click the icon to watch a short video about some of the projects happening throughout the region (2011).