Downtown Peoria could be getting a new park above I-74

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – There may be a new park above I-74 in downtown Peoria.

“I think it’s going to bring spotlight down here,” said Owner of Obed & Isaac’s, Court Conn.

It’s called InterPlay Park and it will stretch 4 blocks above the interstate from Perry Avenue and Adams Street.

“We are really just trying to take what we really were and bring it back,” said Peoria developer, Kim Blickenstaff.

It will bridge the gap between downtown Peoria and the North Valley. Kim Blickenstaff was born and raised in Peoria, he said the new project will increase mobility between the neighborhoods and make downtown Peoria more accessible to foot traffic.

“The north side is a great neighborhood over there and people are renovating over there and it’s going to tie back to the city and you’re going to have a feel again with this park like we had back then,” said Blickenstaff.

With a deadline in place to receive infrastructure money, Blickenstaff and his team designed it all in just 2 weeks. He estimates the price tag to be between $160-200 million.

“I got my team together and started looking into has this been done before and we found examples of it we know whats in the proposed language for money to actually stitch cities back together where the interstate cut them in 2 in the 50s and 60s is top priority,” said Blickenstaff.

The owner of Obed and Isaac’s in Downtown Peoria said this new plan will also attract more visitors.

“The best thing you can do to a neighborhood that is struggling is put a spotlight on it and when you put a spotlight on it, people notice it and when they see construction and they see the new urban outdoor space they’ll flock down here,” said Conn.

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