Brand the Warehouse District
Identity marketing or “branding” for at least a portion of the study area would focus on the concept of an “Old Peoria Distillery District” that celebrates the unique industrial and architectural heritage of the area. The Distillery District would include at least one large anchor distillery/restaurant and would also draw on the themes of the pre-Prohibition and Prohibition-era to create a sense of time and place.
Implement a Demolition Delay or Demolition Review Law
Demolition laws are used in some municipalities, regardless of adopted historic preservation ordinances, to prevent the demolition of existing buildings without a thorough review. The focus of the ordinance is demolition and may not be directly tied to Historic Preservation Ordinances, so design control is limited. To establish a legal foundation for this type of ordinance, Demolition Ordinances should be based on historic preservation criteria, which is similar to what would be required with a Local Historic District designation.
Create an oversight organization that supports downtown Peoria development
While the Warehouse District has the potential to become a thriving, urban neighborhood, it can benefit from a collective effort to promote all of downtown Peoria as the heart of the community and region. The distinct areas of the downtown core, including, but not limited to, the Central Business District, the Riverfront District, and the Warehouse District, can work together to strengthen each other. A downtown organization can be the champion that leads the effort to accomplish this.
Fully utilize the International Building Code for Existing Buildings
City departments, commissions, and other entities should work together to find a solution that meets codes but does not hamper preservation & revitalization. +Include the Building Official or designee on any design review entity +Develop a handout for prospective redevelopers that provides guidance on how to utilize alternative means of meeting applicable codes. +Avoid design guidelines that create difficulties in meeting life safety codes. +Encourage the Building Official to work closely with redevelopers on adaptive reuse projects.
Create a central source for adaptive reuse incentives
If created, the Downtown Development Organization should be the central source of information, guidance and assistance to owners and developers who are interested in development incentives. A digital and print booklet should be created that lists the incentives available in the Warehouse District and provides instructions on how to qualify.