PEORIA — Attorneys for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., have notified the City of Peoria, the Peoria Park District, and Peoria Public Schools (District 150) that their client wants to purchase “a portion of Peoria Stadium on War Memorial Drive … for the construction and operation of a Walmart Super Center.”
The letter states that they have read the recent Peoria Journal Star articles on public reaction to selling the stadium site, and that they are “committed to working with each of the public bodies to arrive at a mutually beneficial development.”
Wal-Mart proposes that the school district sell the entire 76-acre site to the City of Peoria. The City would then sell a portion of the site, adjacent to War Memorial Drive and New York Avenue, to Wal-Mart for them to construct their Super Center. Another portion of the land, “within the Stadium Site closer to Lake Street,” would be leased to the Park District to satisfy terms of the Park District’s grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Any remaining parcels would be sold.
Wal-Mart also proposes that the City of Peoria create a business district for the entire stadium site. A business district is an economic development/incentive program under state law. Incentives include reimbursing a business a portion of the cost of redeveloping land within the district, rebating occupation taxes, and even levying taxes within the business district for the purposes of redevelopment. The City currently has such a district downtown called the Hospitality Improvement Zone Business Development District; an extra 1% tax is collected in the HIZ BDD to help pay for the Pere Marquette redevelopment and Courtyard by Marriott construction.