Bank, not shopping center, proposed for vacant lot

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A planned development at the corner of War Memorial and University will not be as big as originally reported.

A new financial institution is planned for the 1.6-acre lot that was the former Jim McComb Chevrolet location. If the project moves forward, it will include a banking center with a drive-thru ATM.

Three acres remain unused and unplanned.

“What we hope to accomplish is that we can help commercial development occur, but also protect the stability and great residential neighborhood around it,” said Ross Black, community development director of Peoria.

Property owner Mark Weston said plans originally reported by WMBD were outdated, and the final proposal was submitted in February. He said his team of developers worked closely with neighbors and will continue to do with any future developments.

“We are really wanting to make sure whatever goes in here is part of the neighborhood and works well with the neighbors,” he said.

Bill Beckman, a spokesperson for the neighborhood, said the development is mutually beneficial and everyone has a seat at the table.

“It’s a win-win relationship, it’s not like some communities where the neighbors feel like they’ve been steamrolled. None of that’s happened, they didn’t even try,” he said.

Weston said all future plans for the remaining three acres would be vetted the same way.

“At that time there will be new plans that will be developed, we don’t know for sure what’s going in there, there will be new plans developed, anything that would go in there would go in front of the planning & zoning commission, city staff, city council,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Peoria City Council will be asked to approve some zoning changes regarding an existing left turn on the site, and then the project can move forward.

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