Ground has officially been broken on Hometown Community Bank, the first building to set up shop in the area.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Mamer says the organization is digging its way to a new future with the help of city leaders, lawmakers and developers
"This is going to consolidate some of our commercial lending, our trust services, our insurance services are all going to be here," explained Mamer.
The 54,000 square foot facility will be three stories high and include a landscaped plaza, nearly 200 parking spaces, and a clock tower visible from Interstate 74.
"From a skyline standpoint, it will be viewed from downtown Peoria and really all over East Peoria and will really create quite a statement to say the least," said developer Diane Cullinan.
Cullinan and city leaders agree, the building isn't the only business people can "bank" on downtown.
"Target, Costco, Bass Pro, the library is going to develop, Holiday Inn is going to break ground yet this year," listed East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus. "I hope I haven't forgotten anybody or anything. There's so many of them!
Mingus says its a huge accomplishment to the see the area that once sat vacant for many years finally get some attention.
"This downtown acreage was ugly," Mingus laughs. "And I'm being nice. Vast wasteland of concrete and debris. It took real imagination for this development to appear construction ready as it is today."
And as more business begins to break ground, leaders say the construction won't only create hundreds of jobs, it will create a stronger economy.
"This is just one step towards that, and I'm so enthused and optimistic because of the fact that in a robust economy this is really going to blossom."
Developers hope to have the new bank completed and open by fall of next year.
Costco and Target are also scheduled to break ground in the downtown area later this summer.