PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Peoria purchased new land in the Warehouse District for additional parking.

“It’s good news for Peoria, it’s an old subdivision being redone,” said JP Companies president, Pat Sullivan.

The nearly four-acre lot is now in the hands of the City of Peoria. It will be a new public parking lot with more than 300 spots. The city manager said it’s a purchase they have discussed for more than 10 years.

“It’s going to be expensive,” said Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich.

The $8 million project came to fruition Tuesday night between the city of Peoria and JP Companies.

“What we ended up doing was acquiring all the land that is behind the 800-1000 block of Washington St. that’s adjacent to the Tazewell and Peoria railroad,” said Urich.

The president of JP Companies, Pat Sullivan, said it’s exciting to see the 3.75-acre lot remodeled.

“We bought it from the railroad 20-25 years ago. When we started this 25 years ago, no one thought that we would need the parking that we do right now,” said Sullivan.

Urich said the new lot should fit 300 cars and will provide relief to downtown businesses and residents.

“Our engineering team is working on designing a street and a parking lot that will run that two-block stretch,” said Urich.

How is the city of Peoria paying for the $8 million project? Leaders said the funding is coming from the warehouse district’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

TIF is a tool that helps cities capitalize on the increase in property tax. By sprucing up an area, the property tax improves, and the city makes more money. Through the TIF program, that money is used to pay off the new improvements.

“We borrowed money in order to pay this back in a TIF, and the proceeds from the TIF will pay this over time,” said Urich.

Urich said the new lot will attract more life to Peoria’s warehouse district.

“We’ll hope to see more restaurants and more bars and more stores that are going to pop up,” said Urich.