PEORIA — Caterpillar Inc. reiterated its stance Wednesday that although the global headquarters will no longer reside in Peoria by the end of the year, the company will maintain a significant presence Downtown.
That includes necessary updates to the current headquarters building across Adams Street from the Peoria County Courthouse.
Buildings AB and AH, as they are known internally for housing the company's administrative offices, were the subjects of the original modernization study that resulted in the now-defunct plans for a new multi-building office complex on more than 30 acres.
Part of the stated need for the new campus was technology and other infrastructure upgrades.
"The Administration Building (AB) will remain an active office building in Downtown Peoria. Maintenance and updates to the building will continue as needed," spokeswoman Rachel Potts wrote in a statement. "We want it to be an engaging, productive and safe environment for the more than 2,000 people who come to work in AB and AH each day."
The company on Tuesday announced it would open a new "lean" global headquarters in the Chicago area with up to 100 employees by the end of the year. As many as 300 employees, including CEO Jim Umpleby, group presidents, other officers and administrative staff, will work there once it becomes fully operational.
Archer Daniels Midland made a similar move with its global headquarters in 2014, bringing a limited number of employees from Decatur to Chicago while keeping most of its workforce in Decatur. The former global headquarters there became the company's North American Headquarters.
Caterpillar, too, has pledged to keep a vast majority of its 12,000-person-strong Peoria area work force in place. But the company has not yet chosen a revised title for the Downtown buildings where about one-sixth of the work force will remain after the top executives depart.
"We're still determining a title that best reflects the importance of our many essential facilities and functions that will remain in central Illinois," Potts said.
Matt Buedel is the Journal Star business reporter. He can be reached at 686-3154 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/JournoBuedel.