Behind the Scenes: February 2020
Above: Developer Casey Baldovin leads a tour of The Center in the Warehouse District, January 23, 2020.
With multiple new businesses about to come online in Peoria’s Warehouse District, this month’s focus on development could not have come at a better time. On this issue’s cover, Chris Ober of Black Band Distillery stands alongside the gleaming new still that will soon be producing spirits in the Whiskey City once again. The opening of Black Band Distillery at 1000 SW Adams arrives on the 100th anniversary of Prohibition, a chapter of history that gutted Peoria industry. Ober seeks to reclaim that heritage—and with his methodical approach and emphasis on quality over cost, he is doing so in style.
On the very next block, Pop-A-Shot hosted a grand opening in January for its new world headquarters. Formerly based in Kansas, the company that invented the electronic basketball arcade game now calls the Warehouse District home. After months of renovations, their new space is open for business and by the end of the year, all of their operations will be located right here in Peoria.
Meanwhile on the 800 block of SW Adams, an up-and-coming young developer is betting the bank on a pair of massive developments that are destined to transform the Warehouse District. Casey Baldovin’s Adams & Oak project and “The Center” right across the street will anchor an entirely new retail/entertainment corridor, bringing even more residential and commercial life to the area.
Of course, the Warehouse District is not the only game in town. Work continues on OSF HealthCare’s new ministry headquarters, and the Peoria Innovation Hub will be yet another game-changer. On North Knoxville, developer Katie Kim’s Keller Station is set to open its new indoor marketplace this summer, while her Samuel Avenue project will bring new townhomes and condos to Peoria Heights later this year.
And then there’s Kim Blickenstaff and KDB Group, who have lit a fuse of enthusiasm in the Heights, in downtown Peoria, and in multiple small towns up and down the Illinois River with a mind-boggling array of projects. And the hits just keep coming! Even as we go to print, we’re trying to figure out how to cram his latest announcement into this issue: that Peoria will soon have a soccer club in the United Soccer League Two—just in time for the 2020 season. This hasn’t been an easy issue to put together, but it sure has been exciting! We hope you enjoy. PS
—Jonathan Wright, Editor In Chief