EAST PEORIA - East Peoria celebrated the grand opening of the Levee District Friday.
In less than 10 months more than 4,00,000 square feet of shopping and restaurant space has been built.
"It has been a long time coming and a lot of blood sweat and tears a lot of people involved a great partnership with the city of East Peoria all the retailers that stood behind us," said Chris West, President of Cullinan Properties.
West said it's nice to see more than a decade's worth of work come to life.
"We have Ross coming this summer. The base building is already constructed and they'll be fitting out here shortly and opening July. Red Robin and Potbelly Sandwich shop are both under construction right now," West said.
Other businesses like Target, Ulta Beauty and Gordmans are already open, drawing in shoppers and their wallets.
West said Costco has already made 30 percent more money than what management predicted.
Good news for East Peoria Mayor, David Mingus.
"I think the commercial side is going to continue to grow and I believe that that's also going to bring in more residents," Mingus said.
West said residential developments in the Levee District are still a possibility. What's still uncertain though, is a new city hall.
"At this time though that's on hold pending economic analysis as far as the cost and can we afford it really," Mingus said.
Either way, Mingus said creating a brand new downtown is an opportunity not many cities get to see. He said there will be many more new business announcements to come.
Cullinan properties said it's working to open more than 50 Levee District stores.
Tequila's restaurant is set to open in April, a GNC health store is scheduled for May and a Potbelly Sandwich Shop is planning to open its doors in August.
The public is invited to join the Levee Districts community celebration Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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