East Peoria's Levee District is less than a decade old and already it's full of businesses, shops and restaurants. But there's one thing that's missing- a place for people to live.
“And that's what we really wanted. Because we didn't set out to build a shopping center. We set out to build a downtown,” said East Peoria City Council Member. Gary Densberger.
The five story, upscale complex would be made up of at least 80 apartments and stand a vacant lot next to the Fondulac District Library.
It would likely house more than 100 people in the Levee District.
“Sort of the culmination and perhaps the final piece of our downtown,” continued Densberger.
“It was one of the initial concepts of the Levee District,” said Rick Swan of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce.
City Officials say it’s been decades since an apartment complex this size has gone up in East Peoria.
“Our feeling is that with residents living here, they'll shop here; they'll play here. They'll enjoy the atmosphere and everything going on here,” said Swan.
City Council’s approved the initial plans to build the high, but developers still have to clear a few hurdles.
First they have to make sure they can cover the cost of building, a $10 million investment at least.
They’ll have sixty days to determine if they can foot the bill through a market study.
And 120 days to nail down their financial plans.
Finally, developers must layout the building’s design before they can break ground. All of these steps must be completed with the approval of City Council.
“The purchase would be not later than I believe October of 2015 with construction to begin no later than May of 2016.”
The complex would be privately funded, but the City would refund more than half of its property taxes over the first ten years.
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