In recent years, Peoria residents may have noticed a heightened focus on
strategic infill areas like Old Town and the Sports Complex entertainment area
(P83). In the latter, the city has completed a series of planning and design
documents to transform P83 into a dynamic and pedestrian-friendly area with a
distinct identity. The complex itself will soon see major improvements to some
of the buildings and parking area; additionally, staff is continuing its
collaborative work on a potential hotel-anchored destination in the southern
parking area. In Old Town, several projects have been completed like Osuna Park
and Wagoner Plaza facade update and several are in the works such as the
community center and the new community park near Olive and 83rd avenues. The
projects are part of a series of efforts aimed at revitalizing Old Town.
Strategic focus is no less important in Northern Peoria with its
pristine Sonoran desert, newly opened Loop 303 and economic promise. Certainly,
over the past ten years, the majority of infrastructure improvements were made
in parts of the city north of Union Hills Road. Developments such as Vistancia,
West Wing, and Sonoran Mountain Ranch meant Peoria needed to build roads, water
treatment facilities, a library and parks to serve residents that made north
Peoria their home. The completion of Happy Valley Road makes travel within
northern Peoria a breeze; and the Loop 303 now connects residents in the far
north to interstates 10 and 17, taking regional travel to a new height.
Additionally, the city is in progress toward the completion of an open space
strategy - providing proper balance between growth and open space. This is
essential to cementing the quality of life that residents have come to expect.
It's having this sort of infrastructure and vision that will allow Peoria
officials to focus on the next phase for northern Peoria: attracting business.
On June 19, Peoria City Council approved the Vistancia Mega Site Targeted
Industry Attraction Strategy, a plan to recruit healthcare, higher education,
and other specific industries to the area. To date, the city has had several
university and industrial/office prospects interested in locating at the site.
The infrastructure has already played a large role in attracting businesses to
the area. The most recent coups for the city include: BASIS Peoria charter
school, Peoria Regional Medical Center, and the dozens of retail stores along
Lake Pleasant Parkway. Speaking of which, the city has plans to improve Lake
Pleasant Parkway from Jomax Road to the Loop 303, making access to the freeway
As we look forward, the city of Peoria is committed to ensuring all 176 square
miles within its boundaries receive equal treatment. Projects on the books will
continue to build infrastructure and develop public/private partnerships to
bring new jobs to Peoria's economy at all ends of the city.
About Susan Daluddung:
Daluddung has a Ph.D. in Planning and Urban Studies, and a Master’s degree in
Urban Planning, both from Portland State University and an undergraduate degree
from Mankato State University in Minnesota. She is recognized as an expert in
many areas, including Smart Growth, Sustainable Development, and Transit
Oriented Development. She has earned the City Manager designation from the
International City/County Management Association (ICMA). She joined the City of
Peoria in 2008. As Deputy City Manager, Susan oversees the Office of
Communications, the Planning and Community Development Department, the Community
Services Department, Economic Development Services, and the Engineering