Representatives at Caterpillar are speaking about the future of Peoria’s downtown, after the company announced it’s moving its global headquarters and top execs to the Chicago area.

A Caterpillar spokesman addressed the Downtown Advisory Committee Thursday, stressing that the company will stay invested in Peoria.

The spokesman reminded leaders that it’s keeping 12,000 employees in the area including the building downtown. The Caterpillar Foundation is also going to stay in Peoria after the move.

City leaders say Cat has agreed to help re-develop the space that was going to be its new headquarters, to help attract more workers and companies to the area.

That will bring a change to downtown, possibly making it more pedestrian friendly, with goal of being competitive globally.

“They’re going to work with the city to use that block to help support development; we may see development on that side much sooner than we would have expected with the new headquarters building,” said Michael Freilinger, President and CEO of the Downtown Development Corporation.

City leaders say they’re confident the area will continue to grow without caterpillar’s headquarters and point to strides already taken, including apartments in the warehouse district, which they say have grown in popularity.