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Maui Jim moving ahead with $80M expansion in Peoria after city council approves agreement

A preliminary architectural rendering shows the exterior of Maui Jim's planned $80 million, 150,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution center on Allen Road across from the company's current Peoria facility.
City of Peoria
City Council agenda packet
A preliminary architectural rendering shows the exterior of Maui Jim's planned $80 million, 150,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center on Allen Road, across from the company's current Peoria facility.

Eyewear manufacturer Maui Jim is expanding its operations in Peoria.

The company has entered a redevelopment agreement with the City of Peoria to build an $80 million, 150,000-square-foot manufacturing, warehouse and distribution center on Allen Road, across from its current facility.

“They're acquiring 81 acres of property, and then the building is estimated to be at about $50 million,” said Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich. "Then about $20 million worth of furniture, fixtures and equipment, and then they have about $6 million of soft costs and infrastructure improvements."

“Looking at this, this is really the first phase of what they're looking at," he said. "But this is really designed to be a new laboratory where they can make prescription glasses and manufacturing and distribution. So, we're very excited about that.”

On Tuesday, the city council unanimously approved the redevelopment agreement that will reimburse Maui Jim a majority of its property taxes through the Medina Plains-Allen Road Business Park TIF (tax increment financing) District.

“The property tax increment that is generated from the site will be used to defray some of the site improvement and land acquisition costs that the developer is incurring, as well as some of the site development costs,” Urich said.

Maui Jim recently was acquired by Kering Eyewear, based in Padua, Italy, which is a subsidiary of Paris-based Kering Group. Kering Eyewear’s American operations are headquartered in New Jersey and the company is looking at additional U.S. expansion.

Under the TIF redevelopment agreement, Maui Jim will recoup 85% of its property taxes; the city has a pre-existing agreement that directs 15% of the TIF money to the Dunlap School District.

“By the time the project, construction is completed, they (Maui Jim) will probably have 19- or 20-years’ worth of property tax increment that they'll be able to collect,” Urich said. “So, as the property is developed, there's more property taxes that are paid on that site, and then the developer will receive 85% of that incremental growth in property taxes.”

The city anticipates the Maui Jim expansion will increase the equalized assessed value (EAV) in the Medina Plains TIF, while adding potential employment opportunities and allowing for potential future expansion, said Urich.

“Our hope over time is that we'll see that there's additional business expansion efforts,” he said. “As the company portrayed, this is the first phase of this project, and we're hopeful that there will be more on the property.”

Urich said he expects construction on the new Maui Jim facility could take about two years.

Corrected: October 12, 2023 at 9:21 AM CDT
Under the TIF redevelopment agreement, Peoria will reimburse Maui Jim 85% of its property taxes. The agreement does not include reimbursement of project costs.
Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.