Major infrastructure developments that include a $40 million business park could be coming to Peoria as a new tax-increment financing district in the Galena Road Industrial Park moved a step closer to fruition this week.
City officials hope to establish the Galena Road Industrial Park TIF in Peoria and spur major industrial and business growth in the area. The district would cover a tract of land near Illinois Route 29, roughly extending from East Gardeners Lane and East Koch Drive.
The Peoria City Council moved TIF one step closer to reality on Tuesday night by approving an ordinance that set a date for a public hearing and created a registry of interested parties.
Final TIF approval is expected on March 12.
The high demand for industrial land encourages the creation of TIF
Tens of millions of dollars in public and private money will be spent to build the growth within the TIF, including $35 million in public funds and approximately $65 million in private investment.
How to generate public funding for the project will be up to the City Council, but City Manager Patrick Urich said grant money and bonds are possibilities.
Urich said the idea behind this TIF is to address the need for more industrial space in Peoria.
There are ambitions to build a $40 million business park on the site west of Natural Fiber Welding. However, the city must first purchase the 55 acres from Illinois American Waters.
“If we can acquire this land, we can expand the existing footprint of industrial land throughout the city to provide more opportunities for industrial development,” Urich said.
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Chris Setti, CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, also said demand for industrial land and property in the region is high. Last year, GPEDC had 74 inquiries from companies requesting information on the availability of industrial sites.
“As a region, we need more accessible industrial property,” Setti said.
Setti said properly developed industrial land is hard to come by in the Peoria area, making spots like the Galena Road TIF and the Medina Plains TIF, where Maui Jim’s plans an $80 million expansion, more valuable for economic development.
“You can never have too many choices,” Setti said. “It’s kind of like being in the housing market — you never want to go with the first option you see. You want to have different sizes, different types, and so having more options is an absolutely essential part of economic development.”
TIF will have a major impact on the region’s economy
Natural Fiber Welding is currently the main business of the proposed TIF area. If the plan is approved, Urich said, a business like this could benefit from TIF-eligible spending for things like renovations and property or land improvements, if natural fiber sourcing is something it would explore.
“They have many places in the community and we hope to keep NFW as a growing presence in Peoria,” Urich said.
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Industrial and manufacturing facilities are the primary focus of the proposed TIF, but plans also include aspirations for residential campuses, restaurants, retail stores, convenience stores and office space.
Roads, alleys, sewers and a number of other public infrastructure facilities will also be improved in TIF.
If the TIF stays on schedule, the first manufacturing facilities could be completed by 2025, and campuses could appear in 2033.
Setti said the world is currently in a very interesting place for industry expansion. He said things like supply chain challenges, high foreign energy prices and the transition to electric power have somewhat pushed the industry back to the United States.
Mainly the economic impact of bringing industry to the Peoria area. Setti said the projects not only bring job growth and economic activity, but also give Peoria a “psychological boost.”
“When you’re featured, when your site is featured, that’s a good sign for others who are looking,” Setti said. “People invest in places that are invested in.”
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