A California-based entrepreneur who grew up in central Illinois, Kim Blickenstaff recently returned to share his success with his hometown. In less than two years, the developer has put together a dizzying portfolio of projects focused on preserving history, supporting the arts, expanding outdoor opportunities, and building strong, walkable neighborhoods. The Betty Jayne, Atrium Hotel, Grayboy Plaza, Pabst Campus, Scottish Rite Theatre, Al Fresco Park, Sankoty Lakes… all of these properties and more are destined to reshape the region forever.
And that’s not all! Over the last year he’s brought two Steinway pianos and a soccer team to Peoria, commissioned a statue of Theodore Roosevelt, purchased a marina, saved an endangered Peoria mansion, and drawn up plans to save the Peoria Armory—as well as generously donating to the Peoria Women’s Club, Ronald McDonald House, Neighborhood House and St. Thomas Community Center. “To the degree I can repay the debt to the people and places who did so much for me, I am more than happy to do that, and I encourage others to do what they can as well,” Blickenstaff says. “The Peoria area is a fantastic place. We should say so more often, and together we can make it even better.”