Making Way for Developments

Making Way for Developments | Abandoned Buildings Torn Down; Plans For New Shopping Center In Works


DATE: 04/28/2011


PEORIA — Years after the last Grand Slam breakfast was served at Denny’s on Lake Avenue next to Interstate 74, the building has finally come down.

The abandoned building was demolished Monday so the developers of a commercial project between I-74 and Westlake Shopping Center could start their work.

Eric Heard, a real estate agent with Peoria’s Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty, said Wednesday the project is a two-phase development that includes a shopping center .

The shopping center, Heard said, will be located where a Burger King restaurant once stood. That building was torn down after the eatery closed, about the time of the Upgrade 74 project in 2004.

Heard said there are three tenants, including one restaurant, that will go into the 5,500-square-foot shopping center, expected to be built by August. He declined to name the three businesses that were planning to move into the center.

No tenant has been lined up for the former Denny’s property, Heard said.

Getting the old restaurant torn down has been a long process, largely because of complicated land leases on the property, Heard said.

“At one time, there were four different interests in that property,” he said. “It was more complicated than you think it would be.”

Les Cohen, one of the owners of Westlake and president of Cohen Development Co., said the projects are “all a part of the redevelopment” of the area around Westlake, which has seen its own renaissance in recent years.

Cohen also announced that Safelite AutoGlass at Westlake Shopping Center will open soon inside a former muffler shop that is located next to the former Denny’s.

“It’s a good service industry and will, at least, beautify that building,” Cohen said.