Caterpillar Staying Put In Peoria, Expanding Headquarters

A June 10 photo of the Caterpillar logo on earth moving equipment in Springfield.

In this Tuesday, June 10, 2014 photo, the Caterpillar logo is seen on heavy earth moving equipment in Springfield.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Caterpillar Inc. has announced it's keeping its headquarters in downtown Peoria and expanding its corporate campus in what it calls a re-commitment to the central Illinois city.

The news comes after Caterpillar considered building options for 2 1/2 years. Cat’s World Headquarters in Peoria is more than 47 years old.

The new finished campus will span six-blocks near Peoria’s riverfront, and include three office towers, green space, walking paths and retail shops. C-E-O Doug Oberhelman says the campus makeover is a long-term project.

“It’s going to take the better part of a decade from start to finish," he said.  "Remember, there will be lots of greenscapes, open areas, (and) you saw trees in there. When we start, (I) cannot guess. I won’t comment on it. It’s certainly not going to be in 2015. We’re going to need to see an economic improvement in the world before that happens.”

Oberhelman says he won’t comment on how much construction of the campus will cost. He said the company is also still working with the City of Peoria to hammer out campus design and streetscape options.

Governor Bruce Rauner said many other states and countries tried to lure Cat away from Peoria.

“I personally know what they did, who they called, how often they came, what they offered, and they offered all kinds of benefits," he said.  "Caterpillar said, ‘No. I’m going to be loyal to the state of Illinois where we were built and where we will build our long-term future.’”

Rauner said Caterpillar also never asked the state for any tax breaks or special incentives.

The proposed 31-acre campus will span six blocks near the riverfront and include green space, three central towers for employees and retail options.

There’s no price tag for the proposed campus, and Cat’s C-E-O says construction won’t begin until economic conditions improve worldwide.   

Story source: Illinois Public Radio