Approved housing in Warehouse District could bring more business, residents downtown

Apartments planned on two parcels in Peoria's Warehouse District.
Apartments planned on two parcels in Peoria's Warehouse District.(City of Peoria)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:21 AM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - Peoria city leaders say the rehabbing of two historic structures at 800 and 801 Southwest Washington will expand the number of housing units in the Warehouse District to nearly 600.

Assistant City Manager Kimberly Richardson says the idea is to encourage more people to live, work and play downtown.

“We want to have a variety of options for people to select,” she said. “Some people might look at opportunities to downsize and want to be in a community, but also want to be in a place where they don’t have to do a lot of maintenance.”

The price tag for the project is $38 million.

Oculus Development will be doing the project and will use historic tax credits for some of the costs - since the buildings both have historical designations.

There are also other tax incentives that will help recoup some of the redevelopment cost.

“So to see where we’re moving, towards residential, which is pretty consistent to what you’re seeing nationwide,” she said. “But to see those buildings be re-purposed and not torn down is a marvelous thing.”

She says at least three downtown buildings will be demolished to make room for tenant parking. Those properties were acquired from the Downtown Development Council.

Mayor Rita Ali says more people are wanting to move downtown, which in turn will provide other opportunities.

“What will follow is more retail establishments, more restaurants, more social opportunities for people to gather,” she said. “So, it’s a great thing for Peoria.”

City leaders say once the project is complete, there will be 176 new apartments for rent in the city’s Warehouse District.