PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria Heights florist is delaying his retirement until new owners take over the property in the summer.

Dan Callahan, owner of Gregg Florist on War Memorial Drive, said the property and buildings have been sold, but the flower business itself remains for sale.

“This has always been considered to be a high traffic area, a lot of visibility… Of course, with all the commuters and high volume on War Memorial, this is a busy place,” he said.

Callahan said he intended to retire at the end of 2021, but the new owners now intend to take over the property in the summer. He said staying open longer allows for more exposure for a potential buyer.

“I was going to finish up at Christmas, but things got delayed as they do in the development world … And it just ended up being extended into this year, so I decided to just go ahead and keep going, allowing it a bit more time for someone who might want to buy the business,” he said.

Callahan said the extra time is for wrapping up the end of an era and saying goodbye to longtime clients.

“This business has been here for 50 years. We’ve got a lot of dedicated customers and a lot of relationships over those years, sometimes over multiple generations, so it’s been bittersweet. But this extended time has allowed us to do a little more time selling the merchandise out, and connecting with those customers that come in,” he said.

He said what makes Gregg Florist special is the customer personalization and flowers sourced from all over the world.

“We just got flowers in today from Holland,” he said. “So the quality and the diversity of the products that we sell, the personality of what we do with it … and we also try to have a special relationship with everyone that comes in the door and long have felt the key to understanding people’s floral needs.”

Callahan added whoever buys the business would have to open the shop at a different location. But they would also get thousands of built-in customers acquired over the decades.