PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. — Villages and cities across the central Illinois region are expanding and developing, but Peoria Heights seems to have a large share of that growth.
Leaders are looking at numerous development plans and people there are ready for the transformation. Whether you choose to grab a bite at an eatery or shop at a local boutique, there’s a lot happening in the Heights.
Peoria Heights resident Anna Puterbaugh said she is optimistic about the village’s growth.
“I think it’ll continue to go forward,” Puterbaugh said. “I’ve only really seen positive change over the years and I’m really excited to see […] where it’s headed.”
Even visitors are actively noticing what the Heights has to offer.
“I definitely see more growth than from last year,” visitor Maria Georgious said.
The first of multiple developments: a new apartment complex on prospect road that will include 10 residential units with groundfloor retail spaces. The second, the former Kelly Avenue Library is now the Betty Jayne Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts. That’s a 2 million dollar renovation.
And there’s more.
“The Trefzger’s Event Center is really doing great things for the community. I think the next critical piece is the hotel,” Peoria Heights Mayor Mike Phelan said.
That hotel is an upgrade to the Prospect Mall area. It’s a development of a 55-room boutique-sytle space called the Atrium Hotel.
Village board members say this investment into their community, will catapult them into a new age.
“Once that’s built, I think that’s really a game-changer for us,” the mayor said. “Not only for business traveler during the week, but I think that will help the heights continue to become a destination.”
Phelan says investors, like Kim Blickenstaff who has made a handful of recent investments in the Peoria area, are making the right choice by choosing the Heights. While these developments are not taking money out of taxpayer’s pockets, they will still be the ones to reap the benefits on a village that’s continuing to thrive.
“We’re in a good spot right now and a lot of things in life are all about timing,” Phelan said. “And right now, all the stars are aligning for the heights and we’re trying to take advantage of that.”
Sarah DeVore of the board of trustees said, “We’re just looking to grow and make a better community feel for everyone. There’s so much development happening.”
Having a walkable, vibrant, and enticing village makes the Heights a local destination.
“It brings people together and as we all know, people love to have lunch together,” president of the Peoria Heights chamber of commerce Andrea Huprich said. “They love to have a drink together. They love to walk and enjoy the community so having all that come together, I think is very important.”