PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Business owners are reacting after a nearly four-acre lot was purchased by the City of Peoria for a new parking lot in the warehouse district.
“It’s about time!” said Gone Axe Throwing owner, Matthew Ruder.
The public parking lot will be constructed on Washington St. and will include 300 spots, come 2024.
Gone Axe Throwing sits on Washington St. The owner, Matthew Ruder, said he doesn’t think 300 spots will be enough– but says it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
“Our parking situation is pretty scarce right now, customers have to park up to 2-1/2 blocks away on the street. On the weekends we are very busy, and we usually have to turn people away,” said Ruder.
Ruder said they’re looking to expand, but it can’t be done without parking.
“We want the city to grow as an entertainment value and if there is nowhere to park then the entertainment is not going to be there because no one is going to want to come,” said Ruder.
It’s a similar story for a business owner, Michelle Heeren. She owns Venue Chisca which also sits on Washington St. the venue brings upwards of 800 people a weekend.
“The city putting in the parking lot down there is absolutely fabulous, I love that they are going to do that, it should’ve been done a really long time ago,” said Heeren.
Heeren said they are not struggling with parking since they have a lot on Adams St. but according to her more parking means more traffic.
“I think that people would feel more comfortable coming down if it was a little easier. We’re pulling in people from Springfield from Champaign, Bloomington, and Galesburg, and all of these other places that have no idea how to get around Peoria, so if they are going to come to a business they need to be able to park next to it,” said Heeren.
City leaders said engineers are currently working on designs and there’s lots of work to do.