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Newly approved innovation district hopes to attract startups to Peoria

PEORIA (WEEK) – A section of Downtown Peoria is about to be known as an innovation district.

City leaders gave it unanimous approval Tuesday night.

The innovation district covers nine blocks, anchored by the new OSF headquarters still under construction, near Main, Water and Harrison streets, plus Jefferson Avenue.

City leaders hope it becomes a physical presence to reflect the research and development that’s already happening, as well as a way to market Peoria and attract new, high-tech startup companies that can then add new, educated, creative staffers.

“…really trying to put a stake in the ground an say that, you know, ‘This nine block area is where we’re trying to encompass some innovative activity, trying to draw new companies, innovative workers, the creative community down to this area,’” said Jake Hamann, founder and executive director of the Peoria Innovation Alliance.

He said the plan is to work with the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and take advantage of new tax credits being offered to data centers that move to “opportunity zones” like the one just established in Peoria.

Jason Howell

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