I need a place to live in the Peoria/Morton area-FAST! (Chicago: apartments, city hall)
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I'm moving to Peoria in 2 weeks,(just found out about a job) and I'd like advice on where to rent an apartment. I'm a young professional with no kids. I'd like a safe, clean place that's moderately priced. Are there any areas that are better or that I should stay away from? Any help would be appreciated.
Where are you working? If at CAT, then are you in Chilicothe, E. Peoria, downtown or the prooving grounds?
Rentals will run between $.65 & $.90/SF on average. I would avoid the area west of the river, south of 24 and east of 74, as well as anything around Bradley College. If you are working in Chilicothe, I liked the apartments in North Peoria near Peoria Heights on 40/Knoxville called Prairie Lakes. I also liked Timberlane Apts. In the end, though, I found a private rental in Peoria Heights on one of the bluff roads, which put me in a very scenic 3 miles section of dead end road with stately homes. I like to bike and run, so this suited me nicely. There are also nice hiking trails nearby and that area is very hilly.
Tip: In 2005, I was able to book a room at the Fairfield Inn for $28/night through Priceline. Make sure to select a minimum 2 star hotel. From there I just bid low and began increasing. I think Priceline blocks you from low balling, but you could always start at $28 and see what happens. That gave me somewhere cheap to live for 3 weeks while I shopped for an apartment.
There are also a few furnished short term studios in the area. I think it helps if you can stay somewhere for 1-3 months and explore the different parts of town before deciding.
If you are at CAT you could be at: East Peoria, Edwards, Mapleton, Morton, Mossville, Peoria or all. In Central lIllinois builders sell houses by the square foot. I've never met a landlord who used square feet to leverage a rental. Obviously the more you pay the more space you get.Believe me when I say 450 sq isn't much larger than a couple of bedrooms. You can get short term lease on studio for $450.
The city of Peoris is oddly due to the way the river lies which is SW to NE and they are below the below the Bluffs. Water, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe,. Perry, Glen Oak and Randolph between Bartonville and the North End which is the Averyville/Upper Free/McCluggage/Ironworker's Bridge. Bradley Campus is in the West Bluff, and so is the City of West Peoria. The West Bluff begins around the intersection of University and W. Main which joins S. Western Ave about the Farmington Road light. Peoria County sprawls for about 50 miles as it follows the course of the river
This particular area is a U shape that is defined starting on Main Street downtown at the riverfront on Water Street continuin up Main Street Hill to become W. Main and joins Western Avenue and then continues south to the river at Washington Street. DO NOT live anywhere inside the U - unless you live downtown in the twin towers because the area is still developing.
When you pass Bradley and follow Western when you see McDonald's that is the south side of Western. Any where in that area on the south side of Western between Farmington Road and Moss Avenue about 4 blocks deep is generally a decent, quiet family area of working people. DO NOT drop down Western AVenue hill. The City of West Peoria is in that area near and behind McDonald's. It is very, very small, but it has always been a nice place to live. Ask the gal at City Hall if there is anything for rent; imo the area inside the U around Bradley is hit or miss.
NE Adams Street and SW Jefferson are both one way streets. The due N/S streets that you want to be on are Sterling, Main, Hamilton, Abbington, but once you cross over I-74 the N/S streets are University, Knoxville, Sheridan, and Prospect. Nebraska is an E/W street that connects Sterling to Prospect. The nest E/W street N is McClure. You don't particularly want to live on these two streets. The next E/W street is Forest Hill. on the East side is hit and miss but generally nice on the north side of the street around the Catholic Retirement home and church. There is a little court there with three streets. I don't remember the name but it would either be ST James or St James Court. Forest Hill connects Sterling at Aldi's to Prospect and the EAST Bluff. Forest Hill is pretty decent between Wisconsin and Prospect. The East side of Prospect (nearest the river) not so good.
Sterling connects Farmington Road with Glen AVe and War Memorial. AT this intersection you are not far from Northwoods Mall or Grande Shoppes a very large shopping center/life style/outdoor mall and 95% of the major shopping in Peoria.
The next major light on University is War Memorial Drive aka US 150. It essentially connects US24/IL Route 8 with Galesburg and beyond. Besides the Grand Shoppes there are shopping centers on Big Hollow Road and Willow Knolls. War Memorial also crosses access to both I-74 NW and Rt6 to IL 29 N near Mossville.
Continuing N on University the first light past War Memorial is Lake. Very decent housing between University East to Knoxville. Lake has Performing Arts theater, swimming, Sheridan Village and Evergreen Square Shopping centers where you find grocery stores and retail in both. Continuing N to the next light is the Metro Centre - retail shopping and restaurants like Sushi PoPo and Jimmy John, retail, a natural grocery store (Naturally Yours) and the permanent seasonal farmer's market. IF you work at CAT, CEFCU is the CAT Credit Union. CAT employees get all kinds of perks including special deals with Sprint thru the credit union.
Continuing N. on University to the next light is Glen Ave. It connects US 150 to Prospect AVenue @ Peoria Heights. You probably do not want to live in Knoxville as it is a very busy street. It is hard to enter into traffic if you are NOT at a light.
Do NOT live on any street with a STATE name such as Wisconsin. Essentially any area above War Memorial N to Dunlap is a decent area to live in. What do need to understand is NW Peoria near US 15o gets tornadic weather. Other areas you do want to live in are Peoria Heights, Germantown Hills, Metamora, Washington, Morton, Farmington, Bartonville and Dunlap. East Peoria IL 8, US 24, US 150, IL 116, Highveiw Road, Fondulac Drive, Oakwood Rd., Arnold Road, Sunnyland, and Robein are decent areas. "The bottoms" where CAT is/was is NOT a place you want to live. I personally do not like Creve Coeur, Marquette Heights, Radio City, Pekin or Canton.
Just for a reference Peoria Heights is East and Northeast. It is in bluffs that face the Illinois River. Peoria is West of East Peoria. The South side of Peoria is not a particularly desirable area. This area is considered SW of State Sreet to Bartonville boundary at I-474 and South of 7th Street to the river. I mentioned Moss Avenue and Western and said NOT to go "over the hill". The next light south of Moss Avenue is 7th Street. It may have been renamed Martin Luther King Drive .. it goes to Bellvue, another place that can be hit or miss. Knoxville Ae I believe is also IL 40.
IL 29 (NE Adams and SW Jefferson) in Peoria actually begins SE of Springfield in Pana, IL and ends at Junction IL 26 just south of I-80 at Princeville. IL 26 is N of Chillicothe several miles near Lacon. This is one of the few cities in the US that spans a river and is located in two counties. Peoria and East Peoria are built among towering forested cliffs and 14/15 high rolling hills. Peoria Park district is the oldest and largest park district in Illinois. The largest parks are 300-6oo acres. Whether you want to visit the zoo, fly a model airplane, berth a sailboat or sleep with wolves there is a safe place for you. If you hunt and fish there are places for the outdoorsman too. .
The Village of Morton is less than 20,000 population. It is less than 15 miles to Peoria or Eureka about 25 miles to Normal, and 65 miles to Springfield. Chicago and St. Louis are 140-`165 miles from Morton. It varies slightly by route and destination.
I found these apartments in Morton in a search. Cape Cod Village, Woodfield, Blue Spruce, Creekwood, Alpine, Colony South, Country Village, and Field East.
General observations: I believe Morton is generally viewed as an upscale white collar community. What you will learn in time is that many of things you enjoy, major entertainment and hospitals are in Peoria. Five bridges cross the Illinois river at Peoria. Make no doubt about it, Peoria weather can be just as foul in Winter as Chicago. Most of the people who live in the Peoria area like pizza. I think one of the best is from Butch's Pizza in Morton. The food in the Peoria area is generally pretty good. You can find a fish market, meat markets, French bakery, upscale cuisine and other foods. You can also find a chocolate martini, a planetarium, wineries, tons of sports, and a casino.
Cape Cod Village is fairly new. In 2004 (I think that was the year) they were hit by a tornado and rebuilt 3 buildings. I looked at these, and they were nice apartments. That area is flat without many shade trees. That is why I stuck to north Peoria, but if you are in Morton, you'll have to look at your commute time. East Peoria wouldn't be as far.
Originally Posted by linicx
General observations: I believe Morton is generally viewed as an upscale white collar community. What you will learn in time is that many of things you enjoy, major entertainment and hospitals are in Peoria.
Make no doubt about it, Peoria weather can be just as foul in Winter as Chicago.
I found the weather to be on average 5 degrees warmer, with more temperate summers and winters and spring that arrives about 2-3 weeks earlier than Chicago. I do not run year round outside in Chicago. In Peoria, I'd only skip 2-3 days per year due to it being too cold or too snowy. That is not to say it didn't get cold or snow, but it did so to a lesser degree than the Chicago suburbs during the years I lived there.
I think white collar is a subjective term that conjures up different images based on where you are from. When I think white collar, I picture working in a high-rise office in Chicago where everyone wears suits and takes the train to work. Peoria did not fit my image of white collar and Morton, even more so. With so many pickup trucks and old country buffet's (or any variety buffet), it just has a much more country feeling. I'm not dissing that. I liked it there actually. People are more laid back and less likely to mow you down at a stop light than in Chicago.
Now Morton does have the Pumpkinfest with a pretty intense pumpkin chucking contest -- catapulting the melons into nearby counties. That alone may synch it for you!
OH! One tip for you. Be careful with on-ramps. Peoria's on-ramps are more like short driveways! I nearly bit the bullet on my first day in town when I was dumped into traffic on 150.
Last edited by TheWayISeeThings; 07-15-2012 at 01:36 PM..
If you are talking about four lane 474 to two lane 150 that's a loooong ramp. Most of of the on-ramps in Peoria are quite short compared to Chicago. It is a gross mistake to compare anything to LA, NYC or Chicago because it does not exist. Chicago traffic is a breeze compared to LA.
If you work in a business environment at CAT where you interact with board members, or with customers, you will normally wear a suit and tie. I would not show up to work the first day at CAT in Morton with jeans and hunting boots. The nice thing about suits is the flexibility. If you are over-dressed take off the jacket and tie, unbutton the shirt, roll up the sleeves, and go to work. It is not an incurable disease.
The Peoria area has a ton of family events and things to do from museums and picking apples from a tree, to festivals and fairs. One of then is Morton's Pumpkin Festival. If it wasn't for Libby, Morton would still be a small village. Morton is considered the "Pumpkin capital of the world" due to the amount of pumpkin that Libby processes every fall at Morton. Some of events are a lot more fun than watching pumpkins being off loaded onto a conveyor belt.
Yes, Illinois does produce a large quantity of vegetables for human consumption. And yeah, there is other events in the Peoria area that are more interesting. You can test your problem solving skills during the annual Medallion Hunt that takes place the week before the Marigold Festival at Pekin. If you enjoy cold weather you can join over 30,000 others that participate at F.O.L.E.P.I. - one of the largest nighttime Christmas parades and displays in America in East Peoria. Heart of Illinois is the name of the regional state fair that draws thousands annually. The elegant Fireman's Ball, the annual Mennonite Breakfast, and the annual ITOO dinner are always sold out. So are the Broadway shows. The Juried Art Fair draws close to 50,000 visitors. The 4K race, the TT Finals, and the Rubber Ducky Race are always well attended, too. If you are truly bored get ready to behold the jousting at the Renaissance Faire. And there are tons of sports and slower paced events during the years.
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