Levee District officially opens to the public

By WEEK Producer

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 10:44 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- The official wraps come off of downtown East Peoria's new business district.

Civic officials, business leaders and merchants were all on hand this morning for a ribbon cutting in the Levee Distinct.

After years of planning and construction the area is home to more than 50 new businesses, some that have opened and others under construction.

"This is really unique that we're able to do this in a way the brown field was a blessing because there's nothing else here," said East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus.

The former Caterpillar site is 500,000 square feet of retailers, office space, library and hotel.

"It's been a long time coming and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. We obviously had some rough economic times," said Chris West of Cullinan Properties.

A community celebration for the Levee District opening is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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