Five North Vistancia looking to the future | News

By Joe McHugh, Peoria Times Staff Writer
6 Min Read

The addition of Amkor Technologies has only added to the buzz that Five North Vistancia has garnered.  

The 320-acre master-planned community has been a hot spot for new businesses and agencies to come to North Peoria. These new amenities have the potential to reshape the area for the future and keep Peoria residents in Peoria. 

“Having employment centers here in the city keeps us closer to our families, and it gives us the ability to earn a quality living and spend money in our home community,” Peoria Deputy City Manager Mike Faust said. “The statistic we quote is that north of 80% of our citizens leave our city to go to work. And we want a community where those folks can live, play, recreate, work and get educated all in the community they call home.”

Five North’s initial plans were to provide a location in Vistancia that offered high-end retail, mixed-multifamily residential and employment centers to boost resident retention in the area. 

The announcement of the $2 billion Amkor deal has increased the proverbial eyeballs on Vistancia, as other businesses have taken notice of what’s to come. Most notably, the area recently announced that American Leadership Academy will be bringing a school to the complex — something Faust feels only benefits the residents. 

“The (addition of the) school is huge,” Faust said. “If you go back and you look at the challenges of starting up a new school in the Peoria Unified School District, the Liberty High School in the area and some of the others are quite full. And so, bringing a public charter school offers parents school choice, which is important and provides interim relief for the school district.

“But there’s going to be a need for additional unified schools out there. And I think it’s important that we recognize that this ALA is an important piece, but call it an interim step to a larger need. So I think that’s important because parents have been looking for other school options in the community.”

In the March 5 city council meeting, it was discussed that there was “misinformation” about Five North. Faust noted that this stems from a belief that with the big-ticket announcements the city has been rolling out, the developers would forget about the retail they initially promised. 

Faust said this is not true and that the city and developers are devoted to keeping their initial promise. 

“If you are to look at a parcel map of the Five North area, you can see where Amkor is planned to go and you can still see the planned installation of the higher-end retail to the north end of the property,” Faust said. “Where a lot of people say Amkor is replacing what it was committed to, in actuality Amkor is the fulfillment of the developer’s commitment, which was a mix of multifamily residential, high-end retail and employment opportunities. And so, we see it as a complement to the area.”

Five North is one of many things that has been chosen to go in the Vistancia community. Over the past six months, City Manager Henry Darwin has been aggressive on getting items that are on the docket finished and taking projects that were in negotiations into development. 

“Five North has been in discussion for decades; this entitlement has been in place since the early 2000s,” Faust said. “We see this as the fulfillment and the support of a developer who has had a vision for the area to build it out. This is a great community and the people who live there are proud of their community, and we view this as just another extension of the master-planned vision that the development community has had.”

The addition of Five North has Faust and city leadership excited for what is to come in Vistancia and how it will overall improve the community in North Peoria. 

“These decisions and these plans are always made with a forward look, and I think one of them is Peoria has a look and feel about it that the people who live here appreciate,” he said. “So, I think we have to stay true to the quality expectations of our community and making sure that development standards remain constant. 

“We’re proud to have (Five North) in Peoria, and we hope to have other developments like it throughout some of the lands that are still available to develop.” 

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By Joe McHugh, Peoria Times Staff Writer , – Vivrr Local Results in news of type article , 2024-03-28 07:00:00
Tags: five north vistancia, amkor technologies, peoria news, glendale news, peoria breaking news, vistancia news, mike faust

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