Peoria Technology Park

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

 The Peoria Sustainable Technology Park is located along Route 6 west of Allen Road and north of I-74.  The area has great exposure to Route 6 and is adjacent to the Pioneer Park Industrial Park and close to the Shoppes of Grand Prairie. Sewer and Water is to the site. Many parcels in the site have access to rail.  The area is in the Enterprise Zone with standard Enterprise Zone incentives.  Over 1200 acres are available for development.

Technology Park Guidelines

“Green” sustainable infrastructure used            Solar and Wind Energy Supported

Green tech industries incented                           High Quality aesthetics developed

Wetlands preserved                                             Parks and bikepaths constructed

Contact the City of Peoria Economic Development Department at   

309 494 8639 

email to Craig Hullinger at    

More Info at:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wind and Solar Energy

Peoria Sustainable Technology Park

Concepts and Preliminary Proposal for Solar / Wind

For additional information contact:

Mark Bauer or John Remsen

Bauer Power – Peoria

(309) 243-1500

Objectives for the Technology Park will include construction of high level LEED certification for all buildings, modern storm water retention and wetland preservation, public transport and bikeways.  A major component of the Park will be highly visible use of renewable energy resources including solar, solar hot water for heat, and wind power.

Wind Power

The addition of wind power at strategic locations in the Sustainable Park will have a major impact in producing energy for the prospective  tenants. It will also make a highly visible statement concerning dedication to renewable energy.   Wind turbines in the 50 – 100 Kw category will be placed in areas in compliance to Peoria County and City wind ordinances, including required fall zones.   The County / City may create a publicly owned electric utility to construct the wind power generation facilities, distributing all power to the park buildings and public areas, with any excess provided to Ameren, helping meet their required wind generation goals.

Solar Power

Use of the sun’s energy must be a part of any development focused on technology today.  Solar in Illinois is both highly efficient and a means for a business to fix the costs of one of a significant variable cost today…electric power.

Each of the buildings in the park could be engineered to use a combination of geothermal heating and cooling, augmented by the use of solar hot water for augmented heat in colder months.   This process is highly energy efficient and reduces or would eliminate the need for any natural gas use in the buildings.

Solar PV (photovoltaic) arrays would be strategically placed using a variety of mounting options to include pole mounted arrays and overhead structures in parking areas which provide both shade and power.   The use of roof mounted arrays is also possible, but will be less visible to the public.   Other applications for solar PV would include street lighting, providing the first application of this type in Peoria.  Exterior PV using solar awnings on all south facing windows would provide power as well as reduce cooling needs in the structures.

Construction standards will be developed which focus  on the use of building integrated PV (BIPV) by all architects involved.    Standards for such construction would be developed to assure consideration of solar in the design / build stages of all buildings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Technology Park Task Force

Plan To Attract New High Tech Manufacturing Facility to the Growth Cell

Friday 24 April 2009 at 2:00 pm

Fire Station 1 at 505 NE Monroe

Meeting Notes

Members Present:

Vicki Clark EDC

Ryan Spain EDC

Tony Rolando State DCEO

Patrick Urich Peoria County

Scott Sorrel Peoria County

Pat Landes COP PGM

Matt Fick COP ED

Steve Austin COP PW

John Remsen Bauer Power

Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji Chairman Sustainable Commission

Bobby Gray COP ED

Craig Hullinger COP ED

Susan Schlupp COP ED

1. Introductions

2. Summary of actions to date – Tony Rolando noted that Governor Quinn met with Senator Koehler, Representatives Gordon and Leitch, Jim McConoughey, Vickie Clark,Tony Rolando, and the CEO of the Company briefly today at the Gateway Building. Governor Quinn told the company that he wants them in Illinois.

Hullinger  noted are working to attract a high tech company to Peoria that would construct a million square foot building that would have a market value of approximately $30,000,000 plus equipment and hire 850 employees. This company is sought after by a number of other areas, including Michigan, Ohio, California, and other locations in Illinois. 

The City, County, and EDC have shown the business a number of sites. In the City they prefer a Growth Cell site near Route 6 and Allen Road, if the site can be made free or low cost to match offers being made by other States and areas. 

3.  County Update - Patrick Urich says the County will join with the City on the land purchase and donation to the company.  They will buy the entire piece and finance the City 1/2 share at 2 points above prime.  

Patrick agrees that we need a high level meeting of the Mayor and County Chairman, all the Federal and State elected officials, and the leadership of the company to close the deal for one of our sites. 

3. Site Acquisition Costs – Hullinger discussed the alternate sites. We have cost estimates for the 7 sites in the Growth Cell of Pioneer Park. Cost estimates ranged from a low of $3,225,000 for site 6 to a high of 9,825.000 for site 7. In addition, the estimated cost for the extension of Pioneer Parkway from Allen Road to Radnor Road would be $10,600,000. Hullinger noted that grants could cover all or a substantial amount of this cost.

The company prefers a growth cell site with convenient access to Route 6. Site 1 adjacent to Route 6 and west of the Allen road appears to be the favored site. The grant application is being prepared with that in mind.

Four of the sites could be acquired by the City or County government with a purchase / donation from the owner for $50,000 per acre. The two available sixty acre sites would cost $3,000,000, with the remaining approximately 55 acre site $2,750,000. We do not yet have prices for the other potential sites. Staff have sent letters to all the property owners, and are getting calls back with asking prices.

5. Planning & Zoning – Pat Landes noted that her staff are developing regulations for the Sustainable Technology park, mixing technology uses with industrial uses, and figuring out how to mix solar and wind energy into the district. 

6. Incentives - Enterprise Zone, Longer Abatement agreements. Craig Hullinger and Susan Schlupp met with the Dunlap School District, and will meet with Kickapoo and Radner Township. We are proposing that they join in the Enterprise Zone and provide Property Tax abatement. The Enterprise Zone only runs for 4 more years, ending in 2013 with the last taxes payable in 2014. We are asking the State to extend the Enterprise Zone to reauthorize and extend the Zone so we can get the full 5 year abatement. 
 Dunlap initially indicated that they would discuss this issue with their new Board, but subsequently have stated that they will not participate.

7. Stimulus Grants, Federal and State - Bobby Gray and Matt Fick are working with the EDC to apply for grants from the Federal and State to help pay for infrastructure and land acquisition costs. The stimulus bill is creating several possible paths for assistance. EDC is assisting in applying for these grants. We will apply for both DOE and EDA grants. Standards and requirements are evolving for both these grant programs, but it appears that we qualify. Grants can be 20% local and 80% Federal.

8 . State assistance for road, utility, and rail extensions – Tony Rolando is reviewing State programs. With the Governor on Board, things become very good.  IDOT normally pays ½ the cost of industrial road extensions up to a maximum of $2,000,000. They also pay for a substantial amount of the cost of rail extensions.

9.  Steve Austin has prepared the surveys for site 1 for the conveyance of 60 acres, and for the Free Trade Zone application.  Since a site has not been firmly chosen, we won’t proceed until the site is chosen.

10. Free Trade Zone – the EDC will fill out the required paperwork to designate the area as a FTZ. We will seek for all business in the area to be part of the FTZ. We will submit the entire site for the FTZ

11. Wind and Solar Power  - Hullinger noted that the grant application has 4.5 million for wind and solar power. The City has requested that Bauer Power assist in developing the proposal. We envision solar panel s and wind turbines being used throughout the park, in sites visible from Route 6 and major roads.  John Remsen from Bauer Power will work on the proposal. If the grant is awarded, the work must be bid.

12. Sustainable Development Commission  - Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji,  Chairman of the Peoria Commission on Sustainability and Green Techology will assist in developing the “green technology aspects of the Sustainable Technology Park.


Project Area

The City of Peoria, Peoria County and the Heartland Partnership have targeted an area in north central Peoria for acquisition and development of Peoria Sustainable Technology Park (PSTP).  The entire area is located in census tracts 34.01 and is bordered by Illinois State Route 6 to the west and north, Allen Road to the east and an active railroad to the south.  The site has easy access to Illinois Route 6 which connects directly to Interstate 74 and Interstate 474. 

There are several contiguous tracts of land available for purchase ranging in size from 50 to 80 acres which make up the boundaries for PSTP.  The Park has the potential to exceed 1200 acres in size and will easily accommodate future graduates of the Peoria NEXT Innovation

Center which was built, in part, with a $2,000,000 grant from EDA in 2004. The purpose of the Innovation Center is to cultivate high technology startup companies in Central Illinois. Other organizations that participated in planning and funding the Innovation Center include the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the City of Peoria, Caterpillar, Inc., Methodist Medical Center, National City Bank, Bradley University and the Heartland Partnership.

The City of Peoria has negotiated purchase prices for several of these tracts at or below fair market value due to the fact that land owners share the City’s vision for planned growth and economic diversification.  A partial donation of land brings down the cost of land to government.  Build out of Peoria Sustainable Technology Park has been planned in phases, with those parcels already fronting public roads developed first to minimize infrastructure costs.  However, it will be necessary to extend utilities, roadways and the railroad in order to maximize the potential of the area.

The Project Area is ideally located within the City of Peoria’s Planned Growth Cell 2.  The Growth Cells are large tracts of land located in the City of Peoria and Peoria County where, by governmental agreement, land use, infrastructure improvements and funding mechanisms have been planned and approved by both the City and County.

Project Region

The City of Peoria, with a population of 112,936, is located in Peoria County which is situated in Central Illinois along the Illinois River, midway between St. Louis and Chicago. It is part of the Peoria Metropolitan Area which has an estimated population of 365,000 people.   The Peoria County area is excellent for logistics, with access to the river, rail, roads and an international airport. All four modes of transportation have been instrumental in the past and for future development.

The local interstate infrastructure in Peoria County is ideal for transporting products both east-west and north-south. Many trucking companies find the area ideal for distribution. Interstates within the County include I-74 and I-474. The area is exploring an eastern expansion of the I-474 bypass to continue the loop through Woodford and Tazewell Counties. This bypass would not only help alleviate traffic congestion along I-74, but would also better connect the eastern counties of Woodford County and Tazewell County to the Peoria County area.

The entire City of Peoria and surrounding communities will benefit from the creation of Peoria Sustainable Technology Park due to the fact that users in the Park will primarily be new industries creating new jobs.  Below is a list of some companies and organizations that contributed to the creation of the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center and would benefit from the creation of Peoria Sustainable Technology Park:

The University of Illinois College of Medicine 

 National Center for Agricultural                Utilization Research (NCAUR)

Methodist Medical Center

Bradley University

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Caterpillar, Inc.

Proctor Community Hospital

Illinois Central College

Komatsu American International

Firefly Energy


The Illinois Medical Center

Need and Potential Economic Impact

The City of Peoria is the world headquarters of Caterpillar, Inc., a fortune 500 company that is the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines.  Caterpillar has been severely impacted by the current economic downturn and has laid-off over 22,000 of their employees worldwide.  In Peoria County the company has laid off 814 production workers beginning on February 23, 2009. Caterpillar has also laid off 1,669 employees in Tazewell County. Caterpillar is also planning two-one week layoffs in Tazewell County that will affect more than 1,200 employees. From the Caterpillar layoffs alone, this has caused the unemployment rate for the Peoria MSA to increase by 1.25%.

Caterpillar, Inc. is such an integral part of the nation’s economy that when President Obama visited the East Peoria Caterpillar plant on February 12, 2009 he stated ““Those 22,000 layoffs aren’t just a crisis for those families, or for the communities like Peoria and Decatur and Aurora — they are an urgent warning sign for America, because when a company as good and successful and efficient and lean and mean as Caterpillar is cutting back production and shedding jobs, that means we’re not building up this country”. (Peoria Journal Star, February 13, 2009)

The City of Peoria unemployment rate is currently 9.4%, which is higher than the State of Illinois at 9.3% and the national rate of 8.9% (numbers are not seasonally adjusted).   In addition, the Central Illinois Workforce Development Board estimates that between July 2008 and March 2009 there have been a total of 6,685 displaced workers with 80% of those coming from manufacturing, engineering or logistics industries. Workers from these industries will be targeted for employment by companies locating in Peoria Sustainable Technology Park.

The Central Illinois economy is facing many challenges. Much of the region’s recent economic growth has been in trade, services, and other activities mainly catering to domestic markets. People and companies within Central Illinois have increasingly been producing goods and services for other people in Central Illinois. The area’s traditional export industries have suffered, creating the need to diversify even farther away from dependence on a few major employers and to develop new competitive advantages in industrial clusters that can and will profitably export goods and services to markets outside the region.

Peoria Sustainable Technology Park will help fill this industrial clustering need by retaining local startup companies and attracting companies from outside the region.  The Park will incorporate green technology and sustainability with practices such as utilizing solar panels and wind turbines for power generation and reclaiming storm water for irrigation purposes.

There are several potential users for Peoria Sustainable Technology Park that would bring new jobs to the region.  One such company is an established graduate of the Peoria NEXT initiative whose mission is “to bring the worldwide battery marketplace new levels of power, capacity and life at lower cost and lighter weight”.  This company is in the process of evaluating several sites and various incentives being offered by multiple states.  What they will provide is a 1,000,000 square foot building valued at $30,000,000 and the creation of 850 jobs.  The City of Peoria is also in discussions with another prospective tenant which specializes in manufacturing wind turbines.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

The development of Peoria Sustainable Technology Park satisfies many of the goals and objectives outlined in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) developed by the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois.  The CEDS was updated in September of 2007 and includes Peoria, Tazewell, Mason, and Woodford Counties in Central Illinois. The CEDS identified 4 primary economic development goals that are vital for the success of the region. The Peoria Sustainable Technology Park project meets two of those goals: Goal 1 - Development of Targeted Industries, and Goal 2 – Infrastructure.

Goal One – Development of Targeted Industries

Promote activities and opportunities in ten targeted industries. 

Industry: Technology Commercialization and Innovation and Specialized Manufacturing


Develop additional industrial/business parks and technology parks and the needed

 infrastructure to accommodate private sector business growth support and develop

           efforts to develop and improve green technologies foster improved intergovernmental

           relationships and collaboration analyze ways to support new, existing and emerging

           industries support existing businesses and encourage and expand opportunities for new

           businesses pursue Federal, State and private grants and loans for business expansion



Industry: Intermodal logistics


Develop additional industrial/business parks and technology parks and the needed

           infrastructure to accommodate private sector business growth support efforts to

construct digital quality power parks for high-tech companies requiring reliable, quality



Industry: Healthcare Services


Support efforts to construct digital quality power parks for high-tech companies requiring

reliable, quality power.


Industry: Energy


Support and develop efforts to develop and improve green technologies encourage and

support efforts to increase employment and diversify the regional economy through the

use of non-revenue producing structures as incubator facilities for start-up and early

stage businesses.  Foster improved intergovernmental relationships and collaboration.

          support and expand workforce training for expanding and emerging industries. Analyze

          ways to support new, existing and emerging industries. Support existing businesses and

encourage and expand opportunities for new businesses.  Assist communities in the

region to study and implement incentives which attract new business and diversify the

employment base.  Pursue Federal, State and private grants and loans for business

expansion projects.  Develop additional industrial/business parks and technology parks

and the needed infrastructure to accommodate private sector business growth.


Industry: Specialized Manufacturing


Support efforts to construct digital quality power parks for high-tech companies requiring

reliable, quality power.  Develop additional industrial/business parks and technology

parks and the needed infrastructure to accommodate private sector business growth.

Support and develop efforts to develop and improve green technologies.


Goal Two - Infrastructure

Improve and/or upgrade the condition of infrastructure and transportation services in the region.


Construct and improve roads throughout the region to facilitate improved traffic flow and

 business development.  Improve rail services throughout the region bring infrastructure

 and create facilities for new and expanding industrial and commercial enterprises.


The CEDS document also contains the Strategic Projects, Programs & Activities section which identifies a number of regional projects, programs and activities that are designed to implement the goals and objectives listed above.  Of particular note are the projects entitled the “Construction of Digital Quality Power Park(s) and Technology Parks”, which is a real and tangible project that can be accomplished with the support of an EDA grant. In fact, the “Construction of Digital Quality Power Park(s) and Technology Parks” are identified in the CEDS as Vital Projects for the region, with potential future funding from the EDA.


Anticipated Costs


Peoria Sustainable Technology Park is unique in that it can be immediately developed on an available 60 acre parcel that fronts an existing public road. This allows the City of Peoria to react quickly to meet the needs of the previously mentioned company that is in a position to construct a facility and begin manufacturing in 2010.  As users are identified additional land can be purchased to accommodate their specific needs.  However, infrastructure improvements are necessary to maximize the potential of the Park.  These items include the extension of Radnor and Townline Roads as well as the extension of Pioneer Parkway to create a direct connection to Illinois Route 6.  Rail service will also need to be extended north into the Park.  Below are cost estimates for these improvements and acquisition of the 60 acre parcel.