Peoria on top of the Midwest

Excerpted from the Urbanophile

The Urbanophile is a great on line publication that focuses midwestern cities, but usually don't cover smaller cities the size of Peoria. Note his comment abut Peoria, which I am pleased to highlight. And I have invited the editor to visit Peoria, and he indicates that he will.

Best Performing Cities

The Milken Institute released their rankings of the best performing cities of 2009. Their index “ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary and technology growth.”

Austin, Texas was #1 in America. Here is how the large Midwest metros stacked up. On this one, a higher rank is better, like a normal league table. The ranking is out of the 200 largest metro areas. You know your region is struggling when it can’t crack the top 50. (In fairness, Peoria, a city I generally don’t cover, was #33)

* #52 – Kansas City
* #108 – Columbus
* #109 – Pittsburgh
* #123 – Minneapolis-St. Paul
* #125 – Indianapolis
* #128 – St. Louis
* #138 – Cincinnati
* #148 – Chicago
* #151 – Milwaukee
* #153 – Louisville
* #186 – Cleveland
* #199 – Detroit

Google Books

Google Books is a free service by Google. They have scanned millions of  books, magazines and documents, which you can review and read and search. Eventually they will have most of the worlds books and documents that are not copyrighted on the internet.  Wonderful free deal.

Peoria Sustainability Forum

Peoria Sustainability Forum

Peoria Sustainability ForumNOVEMBER 10The Commission on Sustainability and Green Technology will present their reports to Mayor Ardis and the City Council at the Peoria Sustainability Forum. The meeting will be held Monday, December 7, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gateway Building. Read More

Peoria is a great place to live and work. Click on the image below to see a video about economic development in the City of Peoria.

Economic Development


Click on the the link below for more information:

Bradley University / University of Illinois / City of Peoria Illinois

University of Illinois Campus - Bradley University and Downtown Peoria

Interesting images below. They illustrate the University of Illinois Campus overlayed on the Bradley Campus and downtown Peoria. Note that the very large U of I Campus covers Bradley University, downtown peoria, the Riverfront, and the Warehouse District.

Bradley University, Renaissance Park, Downtown Peoria, Warehouse District, Riverfront

University of Illinois Campus

Distance fronm the Bradley University to:

____Main St. & William Kumpf – .8 miles

____Warehouse District via MacArthur – 1.2 miles


Bradley University said...
We have a few college students online from college of Bradley University and we love your blog postings, so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen , Blog Manager Bradley University.

Turning Deserts into Forests

New Geoengineering Idea: Turning Deserts into Forests

Interesting proposal below that proposes foresting the Australian outback and Saharan Desert to “solve climate change.” 

The program could be combined with a major effort to create additional agricultural areas for the poor parts of Africa - a major need. This would combine economic development with sustainable development. 

It would likely require nuclear plants to power the desalinization and pumping of sea water into the interior. Would be much easier to do politically in Australia - Get it started there, and expand into other deserts when it is proven. Could be a win/win.

The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County has a great program and great Web Page

Sarasota County Shines

Forbes: #11 “Best Cities for Jobs”
Inc. Magazine: #8 “Boomtowns”
Relocate-America: Top 100 “Best Places to Live”
Money Magazine: #7 “Top Places to Retire Young"
KPMG Study: Tampa Bay Region #2 Lowest Overall Business Cost

Congratulations to Pekin


Good news for our region at the Holidays.

The City of Pekin has a lot to be thankful for today, please see the attachment it announces the location of a new business, Wheelworx, in the Riverway Business Park, this newest edition will employ over 30 people at startup. This announcement along with yesterday’s announcement by MGP that they are entering into a joint venture with Seacor Energy to form Illinois Corn Processing in order to reopen the Pekin facility and eventually employ 60 individuals gives ample reason for the city to give thanks!

Good job Mayor Dunn, Pekin City Council, the Economic Development Advisory Committee, and especially to Denny and Steve for working with Wheelworx to put this great project together.

Pekin’s Riverway Business Park is one of the premier business parks in the region and we are proud to be a part of the EDAC and to have worked with the City and the businesses on these projects.

Happy Thanksgiving

Anthony Rolando
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Illinois Office of Regional Outreach
North Central Region
Pekin Office                  
111 S. Capitol
Pekin, Illinois 61554
Canton Office
2 N. Main, First Floor
Canton, Illinois 61520
Office: 309-647-5896
Mobile: 309-338-4191
Fax: 309-647-9325

Interesting article about pedestrian safety in the United States

The numbers below show the ratings for Peoria, Illinois and Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida for pedestrian safety.  Peoria was ranked 6 out of 11 metropolitan areas, while Sarasota was 15 out of 20 metros.  The number to the right is the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI).  Sarasota is considerably higher then Peoria, which is likely a result of modern suburban low density development, with limited pedestrian facilities on major commercial roads.



 The Peoria area can add yet another top notch national ranking to its resume. The Milken Institute has ranked Peoria the 33rd Best-Performing City in the country.

350,000 to 500,000 Sq Ft Building Needed

DCEO sent EDC a lead for a building.

Please let EDC know if you know of any appropriate building. 

An industrial broker in the Chicago area has requested assistance with the following project outlined below.


  • Building size ~ 350,000 - 500,000 SF
  • Site size ~ 50 - 100 acres
  • Crane coverage ~ Approximately 50%
  • Height under hook ~ 30 feet
  • Minimum bridge crane capacity ~ 40 tons
  • Rail ~ To site at grade
  • United States or Mexico preferred
  • No time for “build to suit” options
  • Timeline - negotiate lease in December for March followed by installation of equipment beginning in April and operational later in 2010; willing to lease or purchase
  • Power - the power installed for the last user should work well
Beth Kolowski
The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois
A company of The Heartland Partnership
100 SW Water Street
Peoria, IL  61602-1329
309-495-5973 - Office
309-256-9011 - Cell

Congratulations to Tinley Park on being named the best place in the US to raise kids.

Update on the Recovery Act from Tony Rolando at the State of Illinois.

Anthony Rolando
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Illinois Office of Regional Outreach
North Central Region
Pekin Office                  
111 S. Capitol
Pekin, Illinois 61554
Canton Office
2 N. Main, First Floor
Canton, Illinois 61520
Office: 309-647-5896
Mobile: 309-338-4191
Fax: 309-647-9325

Southern Illinnois University - Economic Development

Southern Illinois University provides a nice resource for Economic Development in Illinois.

Nice article on my retirement, but who is the fat guy in the picture?

Rumors about my retirement are greatly exaggerated.

I am not really retired. I am working at:

Click on the plan above to make it larger.

I like one page poster plans. A simple graphic, a brief summary of the plan, and a link to the internet where the plan is explained in more depth is a simple and effective way to provide information to citizens about plans.  

Most people don't have the time or interest to read a long plan. The one page summary provides most of what most people want to know, with an explanation on line that provides more information for those who want to know more about the plan.

Beth Ruyle and Craig Hullinger AICP have completed our first week as partners in our new consulting firm, Ruyle Hullinger and Associates.  So far, so good, although Beth misses her coworkers at Ehlers and I miss mine at the City of Peoria.

The economy is of course very tough. And it will take time to develop a client base.  But I first started a full time consulting practice in 1982, and the economy was very bad then.  I was still able to build the practice.

TIF Plays in Peoria


The City Council of Peoria has approved three tax increment financing districts in the last two and one half years. A total of eighteen (18) buildings have been approved for development or redevelopment in the three new and one existing TIF’s.

Total investment in the buildings will beapproximately $186,000,000, creating over 1,000 jobs.

This during the “Great Recession”.
And there are many more buildings in the works.

____Buildings Completed *

Warehouse TIF

LaVille De Maillet, L.L.C. *

JP Riverfront Development Comp, Inc. (Sullivan) Sealtest

Iron Front, L.L.C., (Huber) 408 Washington

Iron Front, L.L.C., (Huber) 412 Washington

Iron Front, L.L.C., (Huber) 420 Washington

Edgewater Building (Huber) River

Fastenal Company *

Drumheller Properties L.L.C *

D & B Developers, L.L.C. (Waterstreet Solutions)

B & L Sales *

Southtown TIF

Illinois Medical Clinic *
Long Term Acute Health Care Facility Cullinan *

Cancer Research Center


HIZ Pere Marquette Mariott Hotel


Behr Peoria, Inc. *

Martco, LTD (Laser Electric) *
Pulaski Express/Adams Street Supermarket *

JWE Properties/Engler Meier & Justice (Westmont) *