Conservation TIF closer to approval

May 13, 2013

The creation of a new Conservation Tax Increment Finance district in downtown Peoria is a step closer to reality. The 84 acres of land is bordered by Madison Street and the Riverfront from the north to south. Fayette and Irving streets make up the eastern border and Liberty Street is to the west.

A Joint Review Board approved recommending the area eligible for the proposed Peoria Downtown Conservation TIF. That’s based on requirements that include lagging property values, more than half of the buildings in the proposed area are 35 years or older, and city officials say there’s excessive vacancy problems in many of the structures. Chris Setti is the Assistant City Manager for the city. 

“What we’re really saying is downtown is worth preserving, and that downtown needs some intervention on the public infrastructure side (and) on the economic development side, or it will begin to deteriorate more.”

The maximum life of the proposed TIF would be 23-years. The footprint of the area includes buildings that house the Peoria County Courthouse, Caterpillar, and the Chase building, recently purchased by the company. Cat is expected to make an announcement soon on whether it plans to renovate its headquarters or re-build.

The next step in creating the Downtown Conservation TIF is a public hearing to take place June 11th. The city council is to take up the matter June 25th and July 9th for first and second readings, before final approval.