Boarded up buildings getting filled with businesses; New life to Sheridan Village

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PEORIA, Ill. — A popular retail center is now gaining some brand new life.

A closed Bergner’s and boarded up businesses have been the reality for Sheridan Village for quite some time.

But all of that’s about to change.

Although the official grand opening for the Hy-Vee Fast and Fresh Express was Tuesday morning at 5 a.m., Hy-Vee’s Sheridan Village Store Director Elise Schiel said when she and her crew took away the construction cones and opened the store’s lot Monday night, 72 customers came to get gas between 8 p.m. and midnight bringing in over $2,000 in sales.

“It was four days ago our pumps opened, we could use the pumps, but we had the area blocked off and last night we pulled the caution tape and we turned on the lights.  The doors were still locked but customers were coming through,” Schiel said.

“It was so fun to just be in there and watch as we were setting up. Customers were coming through the pumps like we were open and some customers came up to the door and we had to put a sign up that said ‘sorry we don’t open up until 5 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday),” Schiel added.

“It’s very exciting.  We’ve had customers for as long as I can reminder, I’ve been here for a little over a year, and customers have been telling us how excited they are in anticipation for this day,” Schiel said.

“We actually had 4 customers who were staking us out from like 4:30 in the morning till we opened at 5 today,” Schiel added.

City leaders say Sheridan Village, located at 4125 N Sheridan Rd, Peoria, IL 61614, is being reinvented to have a much brighter future.

“Sheridan Village was bought by some new owners a couple of years ago and these folks have been very committed to filling up the space,” 3rd District Peoria City Councilman Tim Riggenbach said.

The owners are Northbridge Investment Management, a Toronto-based investment company.

“We’ve seen out at Grand Prairie, HyVee does things right. So we’re very pleased to see some life come back to that center that’s had a lot of vacancies for a long time,” Riggenbach added.

The Hy-Vee Fast and Fresh Express is a two-in-one gas station and convenience store, which Store Director Elise Schiel and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis say will help benefit the entire area.

“I think it brings a lot of life. It’s really exciting to see a lot of customers come into the area and to see all the businesses that have been coming in as well,” Schiel said.

“It’s a really strong retail area with a lot of traffic and strong residential communities to support those retail outlets,” Mayor Ardis said.

Mayor Ardis says the entire landscape of retail is changing.

“All cities are having to look at ‘what is the best way to utilize a lot of these retail space that’s been vacated?’  Because people aren’t shopping as much at retail anymore,” Mayor Ardis said.

Ardis says with the variety of businesses coming to Sheridan Village, partnered with the communities that surround the shopping area, will ensure the success of businesses there.

“What it does is really help the community understand that retail still knows these important neighborhood areas and these corridors of retail like Sheridan, University, Lake and Glen,” Ardis added.

But there’s much more coming to the center.

Including a brand new restaurant, the Sweet Basil Cafe is moving into the old Burger Barge building.

Currently, you can see boards up on windows of the center near GNC. Councilman Tim Riggenbach says that will be a new blood and plasma donation center.

While no business has moved in, CSL Plasma is listed on Google to move into that space.

The only thing left to change in Sheridan Village is the Bergner’s smack dab in the middle of the shopping center which closed down in early 2018.

Built nearly 70 years ago, Riggenbach says the changes happening there will make sure it lasts another 70 years.

“It’ll just create a little bit of a cleaner environment they think and move forward with the realities of today’s retail environment which is much different than when Sheridan Village has built back in the ’50s,” Riggenbach said.

The current reported plan accorded to Schiel, Ardis, and Riggenbach, is for Northbridge Investment Management to tear down the whole building and create an open green space.

Riggenbach says the owners have already filed for a demolition permit.

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