Friday, May 15, 2009

Strategy 2009

Economic Development Strategy 

preliminary draft #3  May 15, 2009 



This Economic Development Strategy has been developed to serve as a “road map” to help make Peoria a more attractive place to live, work and play. The Strategy will direct the work of the City of Peoria Economic Development Department towards specific tasks. It will result in accomplishing specific goals that will promote economic growth, increase the diversity of the economic base and provide good wages for Peoria’s citizens.
Accomplishment of these goals will support continued growth and development. It will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors. Achievement of these goals does require collaboration and commitment among citizens and organizations with a diversity of interests. 

This strategy is designed to help allocate and prioritize our use of public and private resources. It recommends the concentration of resources on specific goals. The City calls on other organizations to incorporate this strategy into their efforts. 

Any road will do when you we don't know where we're going   

Why plan, Whey We can React? 

Government always reacts to the latest crisis. We are often so busy fighting fires that we forget to carefully plan our future efforts. 

While it is vital to resolve critical issues quickly, it is also important to periodically take the time to think through what we doing, and analyze the long term impact of our efforts. The n new policies and programs should be developed, implemented, reviewed, and revise when necessary.

Trend is not Destiny

Grant us the Courage to change what should be changed

       The Serenity to to accept the things we cannot change

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

History – Current Strategy 

The City of Peoria has a long history in guiding economic development, both with the City Comprehensive Plan and with targeted area strategies. The 1998 Strategic Plan for the city focused departmental energy and resources on office, commercial and industrial development. It also focused on urban redevelopment of downtown neighborhoods and surrounding underutilized waterfront property. 

The City of Peoria completed the Heart of Peoria Plan in 2002 which advocated an aggressive effort to revive and revitalize the inner city with new urban development focused on the dynamic downtown and riverfront. 

The City completed the Renaissance Park (Med-Tech) Plan in 2005.  

The City has developed and implemented an Enterprise Zone and ten Tax Increment Financing Districts over the past thirty years.  The Southern Gateway Plan with Warehouse District and Eagle View TIF's were completed in 2007. The Hospitality Improvement Zone with Business Development And TIF were completed in 2008. 

The city in 2009 was in the final year of a three year Comprehensive Planning process. The City reached out to the entire city, and conducted numerous public meetings and surveys to garner public input. Economic Develoment was and is a major concern of our citizens and business. 

The findings of the planning process were an important input into this Strategy. This strategy is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and designed to implement the goals of the Plan. It is part of the implementation process of the Plan.

The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois is our regional leader in economic development. The region, County, and City work together to im
prove the region. The City worked with the County and the EDC to develop the CED
S (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) which guides economic development in the region. The City strategy is consistent with the regional strategy, and amplifies and refines
 the strategy. The EDC has recently completed an aggressive program to lead economic development among the following sectors:

  • Technology Commercialization
  • Intermodal Logistics 
  • Healthcare Services 
  • Energy Agri-business & Agri-Science 
  • Visitor Based Economy 
  • Retail 
  • Specialized Manufacturing 
  • Professional & Technical Services 
  • Global Trade 

In 2008 City Economic Development Staff internally developed a short stategy to guide City Economic Development. 

Our Economic Developmengt Goals

  • Promote economic growth
  • Increase the diversity of the economic base
  • Provide solid jobs at good wages for Peoria’s citizens

Towards these ends the City will:

  • Lead the redevelopment of older areas
  • Plan for more affordable industrial land
  • Compete with surrounding communities
  • Promote Sustainable Development
  • Strive to lower taxes
  • Market the city

The City Economic Development staff have also implemented an aggressive effort to improve transparency of governmental economic development actions. To improve communication with citizens and developers the Department publishes most programs on a series of blogs on the link below:

The City Web Site also contains substantial information on economic development

On April 20, 2009 a workshop was held bringing together a task force of key economic development staff  from the City, County, EDC and consultants to briefly evaluate past accomplishments, review strategy and discuss needed changes. 

Key Findings of the Taskforce 

There was a consensus that economic development was succeeding.  

Past strategy driven economic development actions have achieved results.  

The strategy helps position the City to replace lost jobs and investment. 

City efforts were succeeding despite the national recession. 

We must improve our educated and trained workforce

We need more development ready industrial sites

A central core of the city must provide a vibrant civic, cultural and living environment 

The Post Recession Economy will be different 

Globilization will continue to provide challenges and opportunties

Traditional economic development efforts to lead business expansion / recruitment, marketing / promotion, and community development using governmental inducements will remain the principle focus of the economic development strategy 

The taskforce identified ten influencers that will shape the future direction of the City of Peoria economic development strategy. 

1. Potential changes to, or expiration of, state/federal incentive programs. 

2. Educational system impact upon workforce and neighborhood redevelopment. 

3. Availability of “shovel ready” sites for business location. 

4. Interest of “non local” capital and development risk expertise. 

5. Communitywide self image. 

6. Government financial capacity and reliance on state/federal leverage for project success. 

7. Increased job retention/expansion reliance upon dominate employers and their suppliers. 

8. Provision of alternative residential ‘life-style” neighborhood living environments. 

9. Future growth and regional dominance of local health care institutions. 

10. Expansion of downtown jobs as the “driver” of central city and waterfront redevelopment. 




Many of the strategic plan goals will require future population growth and economic strength greater than historic trends or future projections offered by demographers and economists. The future economic strategy will require “making specific and measured investments for the future” characterized with: 

1. Communitywide support. 

2. Collaboration and partnership with others. 

3. Use of state/federal financing leverage.

4. Incentives leveraging private capital. 

5. “Non local” capital and development capacity. 

6. Locally originated employment. 

7. Opportunities transforming neighborhood living environments. 

8. Communitywide recognition of improved self image. 

9. Development risk shared between government and private interests. 

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