OSF HealthCare intends to rehabilitate the former Chase Building in downtown Peoria. Caterpillar had purchased the building several years ago in anticipation of building its new headquarters. With the relocation of Caterpillar headquarters to north suburban Deerfield, the building sat empty. Caterpillar is donating the century-old building that once housed the Block and Kuhl Department Store and the nearby Peoria Professional Building, plus contributing three-million dollars to the project. OSF HealthCare CEO Bob Sehring says the project is dependent on the block being designated an historic district, which will allow tax credits through the state and federal governments.
"The historic tax credit program is really something that will enable rehabilitation of this structure. Absent that program, quite frankly, it would not be feasible to work on buildings such as the former Chase building." Sehring said.
With historic designation, construction will begin this summer and take several years to complete. The Peoria Professional Building will be torn down for green space. The renovated OSF HealthCare Ministries building will house about 700 OSF HealthCare employees.