Peoria is looking for Developers for River Trail Drive

The City Council, the Peoria Planning Commission and the Heart of Peoria Commission have approved the River Trail Drive Plan. City Council has authorized an effort to seek a quality company to develop the site. The plan is to create quality housing overlooking the Illinois River and Lake Pimeteau. The development will create a drive along the lake, providing all people to drive along the river, similar to Grand View Drive. A kind of "low rise". Grand View. Park islands will be developed to further enhance the riverfront.

Background: City Council authorized city staff to develop and refine plans for the Peoria Riverfront, and to take those plans to the public and City Commissions. Numerous presentations and charettes have been completed. The Heart of Peoria Commission and the Planning commission have approved the plans for the River's Edge Redevelopment Initiative, Green Edge Plan, River Trail Drive Plan, and the Cascade River Plan

1. The plans implement the urban redevelopment recommended in the comprehensive Plan and Heart of Peoria Plan. These plans call for the redevelopment of older neighborhoods, and the revitalization of the Heart of Peoria with new urban development.

2. The plans are consistent with and follow the goals, objectives, and recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and Heart of Peoria Plan.

3. The plans were subject to extensive citizen participation, including meetings with neighborhoods groups, environmental groups, developers, individuals, the Heart of Peoria Commission, Park District staff, the Park District Board, the Corps of Engineers, IDNR, FEMA, public hearings before the Planning Commission, and a charrette with citizens and the Planning Commission. They were also subject to a charrette attended by a number of environmental professional agencies and governments.

4. The plans were presented to Planning Department staff, the city manager, Public Works and the One Stop Shop.

5. The Cascade Plan was developed in response to comments made at the Planning Commission public hearing and at other public meetings, where a number of people objected to blocking views of the River such as created by PMP, the Riverplex, and other developments. They also suggested that we put more effort into redeveloping the neighborhoods back from the river. The Cascade Plan calls for maintaining and improving views to the River as buildings are demolished, and also calls for revitalization of the neighborhoods.

6. The Heart of Peoria Commission considered the plans, and recommended their adoption (They did not see the Cascade Plan, which was developed later.)

7. A number of developers have been contacted about these possible developments, and some have expressed interest.

8. The plans are similar to and consistent with the plan of Grand View Drive, which incorporates views of the River, parks, a drive providing overlooks of the lake and park, and housing on the side away from the river, providing the tax resources to pay for the streets.

9. The plan is similar to the famous "Burnham Plan" in Chicago, which created the lake front park system with Lake Shore Drive and housing to help pay for the drive. The Burnham Plan calls for open views of the water, with parks adjacent to the water, bike trails, a road, and housing on the side away from the water - similar to our plans.

10. The plan would eventually interconnect Water Street and downtown with Grand View Drive. This will likely take many years to complete, and relies on the voluntary support of 8 land owners. All these land owners were contacted, and asked to consider donating the part of their land that lies between the River and the flood way line. They were also asked to donate an additional 50 feet of right of way for the eventual construction of River Trail Drive. Some of the eight owners are actively considering this donation.

11. The Planning Commission after public hearings, site investigations and a design charette, approved the River’s Edge Redevelopment Initiative Concept Plan, including the Green Edge Concept Plan, the River Trail Drive Concept Plan, and the Cascade Concept Plan.If the City Council approves, we will look for a developer. The City prefers new urban, "green" development.

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City Planner, Colonel, Marine Corps Reserve Retired, Vietnam Vet, married to Beth Ruyle