Peoria’s Warehouse District evolved with businesses, bars, residences

PEORIA — Warehouses no longer account for a significant part of the Peoria Warehouse District.

Residences, small businesses and restaurants and bars have begun to permeate the historic area located just southwest of Downtown Peoria. More developments are being planned.

But Warehouse District revitalization hardly has been an overnight process.

April represents the 14th anniversary of the city’s recognition of the Warehouse District as a potential growth area.

A view down Southwest Washington Street shows some of the old warehouses and buildings that have been renovated or are undergoing renovation in Peoria’s Warehouse District.

In 2007, a tax-increment-financing plan the city commissioned noted the area had more than 300 buildings that might lend themselves to commercial, residential or mixed-use development.

More than 90% of those buildings were constructed before 1972. That was critical. To be designated as a conservation area, at least half its buildings must be at least 35 years old.

Obsolescence, deterioration and excessive vacancies also were hallmarks of the area.

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