Goodwill to Renovate War Memorial Drive Facility

PEORIA — Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is trying to secure around $5 million in tax exempt bonds to finance a complete renovation of its facility that is located on War Memorial Drive in Peoria.

Later this month, Peoria County Board is expected to vote on a resolution that would help Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois borrow up to $5 million in tax exempt bonds through conduit financing.

“The project is being financed with the help of Peoria County and Goodwill’s banking partner, PNC Bank,” said Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois Vice President of Administration Robert Parkhurst. “Peoria County is expected to offer ‘conduit’ financing through the use of bank qualified tax exempt bonds. PNC will purchase the bonds directly from Peoria County, and Goodwill will have the sole responsibility and liability to repay the bonds. There is no risk to the taxpayers of Peoria County. Peoria County has no liability to repay the bonds.”
Conduit financing was created to give qualifying not-for-profit organizations like Goodwill access to tax exempt financing.
“Tax laws allow local governmental entities to issue tax exempt bonds on behalf of local not-for-profit organizations,” said Parkhurst. “The not-for-profit organization receives a lower interest rate because interest paid on the bonds is not taxable to the bond holder.”
The Goodwill facility, 2319 E. War Memorial Dr., Peoria, was built in 1951 as a Cat dealership. The facility has served as a Goodwill retail store, warehouse, training center and administrative headquarters since 1990. Warehouse operations moved to a 40,000 square-foot facility located in East Peoria in 2009. The retail store relocated to a facility located at 3905 N. University St. in Peoria earlier this year.
Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois announced its plans to renovate the facility in August. Since then, the not-for-profit organization has temporarily relocated its administrative offices and program services staff to the Klaus Radio building, 8400 N. Allen Rd., Peoria, to make room for the renovation. Administrative and program services staff will move back into the facility when the renovation is complete.
Once the renovation is complete, the facility will be known as “Goodwill Commons.”
“Goodwill will repurpose the building into a more functional workspace for both employees and program participants,” said Parkhurst. “More than half of the renovated space will be dedicated to expanded programing, with a specific focus on increasing services to veterans and youth.
“The main building is approximately 30,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. The interior will be completely demolished and repurposed to create five classrooms, including two state-of-the-art computer labs; a veterans service center; a youth mentoring service center; and administrative offices.”
The exterior of the facility will be repaired and refurbished to preserve its original appearance.
“In keeping with Goodwill’s commitment to ‘recycle, repurpose and reuse,’ the original brick will be repaired and resealed on much of the exterior,” said Parkhurst. “In addition, the prominent limestone panels on the building’s exterior will be repurposed and used in the new foyer. Goodwill Commons will have all the efficiency and technology of a modern facility, while honoring the original 1950s architecture of this Peoria landmark.”
Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois plans to open Goodwill Commons in July of 2013.