Local Leaders Optimistic About Future Of Peoria

Courtesy Alpha Media's Ryan Piers

(25 News) It’s been a little more than two weeks since the world’s largest heavy equipment maker announced its cutting ties with global headquarters in Peoria.

The shock is starting to settle in that 100 Northeast Adams Street will no longer be the home to Cat’s world headquarters.

300 jobs out of here, but the Economic Development Council has announced that 9,000 jobs are coming in over the next two years.

Over 6,000 of those are in healthcare, now the largest employer in Central Illinois.

Local leaders reiterated Thursday that several projects throughout the city are now in overdrive since the news broke.

“These strategies have been underway for quite some time and we knew that diversification and economic growth was going to be very important to this region beyond just the earth-moving sector,” said Jennifer Daly, CEO of Greater Peoria EDC.

“We’re on rocket boosters of we’re we going to look like, and continuing that conversation and solidifying our national and international marketing piece for greater Peoria,” said Jeff Griffin, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

After Cat’s big announcement one big question was what was going to happen to the land in Downtown Peoria that the company already purchased?

Thursday Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis told 25 News he’s pretty optimistic about the future.

He said, “I have a gut feeling that we’ll see an announcement this year about a company or a couple companies that are interested in locating there.”

Mayor Ardis adds that while doors may not be open in this section of downtown in 2017, he’s looking forward to what it will become.

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