Peoria receives $950,000 grant to clean-up, renovate vacant property on the city’s southside

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – The City of Peoria receives a near $1 million dollar grant to clean up a brownfield, and officials say they hope it draws business to the area.

Lavetta Ricca is a lifelong resident on Peoria’s southside. She says as a child she has seen the area at its heights.

“Grocery stores, beauty stores, you name it, and we had it, and we could walk to anything,” she said.

The president of the Old Towne South Neighborhood Association says she wants to see more investment come to her community.

“That’s what I’m hoping will come back, you know, some type of reputable business,” Ricca said.

The 5.4 acre Tabor Property along SW Adams and South Lydia Street has sat vacant for years, and officials say it’s not for a lack of interest.

“We’ve had several businesses interested in that property and the only reason they haven’t moved forward is because of the environmental problem that they would inherit,” said Denise Moore, Peoria District 1 Councilwoman.

With the help of a $950,000 dollar grant from the State of Illinois, the City of Peoria is planning to clean up these environmental issues. This is the second grant the city has been awarded for the site, with another $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protective Agency coming last fall.

Joe Dulin, Peoria’s Assistant Community Development Director, says one building on the land will be demolished and another will be renovated. He says a goal is to bring more investment to the location.

“Hopefully an industrial manufacturing type-use to utilize that property and really create some living wages for people, and hopefully they can draw people living in 61605,” Dulin said.

Moore says this is another important step in bringing the southern portion of the city back to life.

“This is really the continuation of the revitalization that his community has needed for a long time,” she said.

According to Dulin, work won’t start on the site for at least the next 2 or 3 months.

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