A unique partnership between the Peoria Park District and The Kim Group, Keller Station is a mixed-use development revitalizing seven acres of vacant buildings in the heart of Peoria. The former Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) headquarters complex is already home to [CxT] Roasting Company, Inspired Maternity and The Kim Group, with multiple other shops scheduled to open this month. This summer, the garage where IDOT mechanics once worked on vehicles will come to life again as an indoor marketplace.
“It is an amazing space with a barreled wood ceiling, lots of windows, and beautiful fire brick on the walls,” says developer Katie Kim. “It’s the perfect location in the center of the city, big enough to hold many vendors with common seating, and right next to the Rock Island Trail and Donovan Park. So you can ride your bike there, get something to eat and go play in the park.”
The indoor market will serve as a launchpad for prospective entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, offering various spaces depending on the business need. And with the rise of the so-called “experience economy,” Kim knows they need to provide unique experiences for customers. “The new market is not just a market or a food court,” she stresses. “It’s a cross between a social club, like Pinewood Social Club in Nashville… and other indoor markets like Pike Place in Seattle or Milwaukee Public Market.”
To that end, the space will host a variety of special events and activities—a farmer’s market, dance lessons, movie nights and concerts are among the concepts that have been floated. “As our tenants come with new ideas, we will work with them to make them happen,” Kim explains.
In the end, their goal is to create a space where people can engage with each other. “We want to make Keller Station a place people can come and enjoy—relax, connect and hang out with their community,” she affirms. “We are open to ideas to continue to make it better and engage everyone within our community.” Follow their progress at facebook.com/KellerStationPeoria. PM