A group working to foster redevelopment in South Peoria businesses disbands. But in this case: there are still winners. As a parting gesture, they handed out $16,000 dollars to nearly a dozen charities and non-profits.
After nearly 90 years of existence business owners Pierre Serafin and Tom Wiegand are the last two remaining members of the South Side Business Club. Serafin said it's time to call it quits.
"We can't wait on the city of Peoria to react and say okay let's put some funds south of MacArthur. I've been waiting and fighting that fight for 40 years," he said.
Pierre Serafin says in it's heyday the South Side Businesses Club had 150 members. They were entrepreneurs who wanted more economic development in the Southern gateway area. Now just a handful of businesses sit on South West Adams, once a thriving retail section in the city.
"Back in the nineties we tried to re-invigorate it and get it going again but there just weren't enough businesses to make it happen so here we are today," said former South Side Business Club member Tom Wiegand.
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis attended the announcement and defended the city's redevelopment efforts in Southtown. W
"With the South Side of Peoria as a whole nobody has re-invested in this whole area more than the city has with the Southtown tax increment financing. We've developed at least tried to make it more attractive in the Harrison area," he said.
As a parting gesture the South Side Business Club donated $16,000. dollars to nearly a dozen South Side charities and nonprofits.