PEORIA, Il. - It's been two years now since Caterpillar announced it was moving its headquarters out of Peoria to the Chicago area, shocking many in central Illinois.
Long considered the face of the community city leaders now say 24 months later the company's decision was not the doomsday many thought.
“Certainly the sky hasn't fallen,” said CEO of EDC Chris Setti.
With 10 percent of Caterpillar employees and thousands of stockholders in the Peoria area the company announcement two years ago sent shock waves throughout the region. With fears of an economic downfall leaders promised Peoria would thrive.
Wwe're going to keep this up. Believe me, nobody is taking this news lightly, but it's not a reason to stop, it's a reason to re-energize,” Mayor of Peoria Jim Ardis said in February 2017.
And respond the River City did, not only did both metro areas in Bloomington and Peoria see job growth, including opportunities at Caterpillar, but the community continued to support one another by shopping local.
Setti explained, “Keep those people in the region, add people to those payrolls, those are the folks that go out and spend at restaurants, at our stores,”
But still the once Chase bank building that was scheduled to house Cat's new world headquarters would remain vacant. That was until OSF Healthcare announced its commitment to Peoria. With blueprints and plans in place the hospital announced its new ministry headquarters would be located in downtown, employing more than 800 ministry partners, with a common goal of building back up the city.
“There's many other places that osf could have built its headquarters but this is where they started, that's where their foundation came from,” said Jim Mormann CEO of integrated solutions at OSF Healthcare
While internal demolition has already been done on the former Chase Bank building, OSF officials are hopeful to begin external construction on the ministry headquarters by late spring
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