In August, the Downtown Development Corporation of Peoria (DDC) hosted a downtown development tour for DDC investors, developers, community leaders and interested parties. On a Peoria Charter Coach bus, we highlighted more than 50 development projects and new businesses that have opened recently or will open within the next 12 months. The tour began at Dozer Park, and from there made a loop around Downtown Peoria. Participants were able to debark and get a firsthand look at some of the newest businesses in Peoria’s Warehouse District.
First we met with Matt Ruder and Sara Fickes, owners of Gone Axe Throwing, at their newly opened business at 1009 SW Washington St. in “The Block.” They encouraged us to bring our friends and family down to throw a few axes! They currently offer 90-minute sessions, by appointment or walk-in, at $30 per person—and with an Axe Master to keep everyone safe! The couple also owns Gone in 60 Escape Games, another fun, team-building venue in the Warehouse District.
Next we had the pleasure of stopping by Venue Chisca, also part of The Block. We learned that Venue Chisca is the only wedding venue in Downtown Peoria with 17,000 square feet of beautiful green space, known as “The Quarter.” They also offer elegant, vintage indoor space: the Memphis Room, which seats up to 300 people, and the Grand Ballroom, which seats up to 500.
Finally, we stopped in at First Ascent and were amazed at all they have to offer! Several different climbing walls entice new and experienced climbers alike… but did you know that First Ascent also has “regular” workout equipment, as well as a yoga room with certified instructors? They are enjoying their new home in the Warehouse District and invite all of you to come on down!
Here are a few comments from the participants:
“The tour was great!”
“The tour was a terrific success. You should be very proud indeed to show off the terrific progress in which the DDC was instrumental.”
“All I can say is WOW! They have accomplished so much in the past five years, especially the past two! Apartments, condos, restaurants, businesses and more! And there are more warehouses and buildings on the development drawing board. It’s very impressive—moving on up, Peoria!” PM
Michael Freilinger is president/CEO of the Downtown Development Corporation of Peoria. For more information about downtown development, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (309) 369-6038.