Peoria riverfront platform update

PEORIA, Ill. - More than two decades ago, the city of Peoria built the riverfront platform for businesses and restaurants to call home, including the Peoria Chamber of Commerce.

“When you have guests coming down to the riverfront that part is fantastic,” said Jeff Griffin, President of the PCC.

After months of planning, Peoria Public Works remains hopeful city council will approve bids for the demolition of the platform to make room for an environment friendly green space.

“It served a good purpose for a long time but its gotten to the point where its not useful,” said Bill Lewis, Peoria Engineer. He adds, “It’s falling apart and it’s become a safety hazard.”

Lewis says if approved by January, construction could be done by the middle of May, making way for residents to enjoy the green space in summer of 2018.

“We want to have a vibrant downtown community and this one step allows us to get to that point,” said Lewis.

Griffin adds, “Thinking of it as a front yard for downtown residents, where people can throw the frisbee and walk their dog."

Not everyone is happy about this potential demolition of the platform. The Spirit of Peoria, which has called the River City its home since 1988, is worried about losing parking for its customers.

Alex Grieves owner of The Spirit of Peoria, says:

"I want to make it quite clear that we have enjoyed a win/win relationship with the City of Peoria ever since my father and former Peoria Mayor Bud Grieves purchased the boat and kept it in Peoria.  I want to very much stay in Peoria and continue this long relationship, but I must consider all my options for my business.  To that end, I have had discussions with East Peoria and the City of Grafton Il, about relocation of the Spirit of Peoria if at least 75 parking spaces cannot be left for our patrons of the Spirit.  Working in the spirit of co-operation, I hope that the City Council will agree to a plan that works for the business that need it so much."

Council is expected to have a decision by the end of December.

 


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