East Peoria unveils new downtown

The snip of a ribbon Friday formally opened the Levee District, the city’s name for its efforts over more than a decade to build a retail-based “new downtown” on an 88-acre former factory site.

The development will provide “economic protection for our city” as a 21st-century replacement for the industry that Caterpillar Inc. moved elsewhere when it closed its oldest factories on the site, said Mayor David Mingus.

Developing the site was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Chris West, chief operating officer for Cullinan Properties Ltd., said in the ceremony that heralded the success of the public-private development project.

Stores, a hotel, a public library and an office building already and soon to open will total more than 500,000 square feet and provide more than 500 full-time jobs, officials said.
For more details, read Saturday’s edition of the Daily Times or return to this website later.