Nov 15, 2015

River Trail Drive Cartoon




Another cartoon about me.  I was proposing River Trail Drive, a plan to create a new road from downtown Peoria north for two miles along the Illinois River. The road would eventually connect with the very attractive Grand View Drive along the Illinois River.

The controversial part was the most southern portion of the road, which involved a residential development on existing park land. The City must replace the park land with equivalent value land nearby, but many park supporters opposed the concept. 

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We gained approval from the Peoria Planning Commission and City Council, and issued the following Request for Proposal.  We recruited a quality developer who is now proceeding with the development.



RIVER TRAIL DRIVE - REQUEST FOR DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS (RFP)

The City of Peoria is seeking a quality developer to develop City owned RIVERFRONT property. The City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Heart of Peoria Commission have approved the River Trail Concept Plan.Preference is for new urban AND green development.

The City of Peoria seeks proposals from qualified developers for the development of the Peoria Riverfront north of downtown. The City owned property fronts a beautiful lake measuring approximately 2.5 miles by 1.5 miles, a lineal park, and a bike trail. 

The south end of the property is anchored by downtown Peoria, I-74, and the Riverplex. The north end is anchored by the Detweiller Marina.

Background: City staff have developed concept plans for the Peoria Riverfront. Staff gave numerous community presentations and held several charettes to get community input. 

Presentations were made to the City Planning Commission and the Heart of Peoria Commission and they approved the plans for the River's Edge Redevelopment Initiative, the Green Edge Plan, the River Trail Drive Plan, and the Cascade River Plan. All of the plans were reviewed and approved by city engineering and planning staff.

The Concept Plans begins with City owned land, as shown on the attached concept plan sketch. There are approximately nine city owned acres available for development. There is a substantial amount of privately owned land that could be added to the development. The plan is similar to the famous "Burnham Plan" in Chicago, with a lake shore drive and quality housing to help pay for it.There is a strong demand for housing in and near downtown Peoria.

Several market studies have been conducted with the most recent being completed by Tracy Cross & Associates, Inc. The Tracy Cross Residential Market Analysis indicated that there would be a demand for 194 new dwelling units a year in downtown Peoria.Downtown Peoria is the second most densely developed downtown in Illinois after Chicago, boasting over 17,000 jobs. Many of the young professionals employed downtown have indicated a desire to live close to downtown jobs, the river, and the convention center.

Employment in Peoria continues to grow with new jobs being created by Caterpillar, OSF Medical Center and Methodist Medical Center.More information is available on: