Congressman Aaron Schock says renovating the dilapidated Madison Theater is the key to revitalizing downtown Peoria. The Peoria Republican toured the facility Tuesday. He says he’s working to renew federal tax credits that could help finance the renovation of the more the 95-year-old building.
The 20-percent tax credits are for the rehabilitation of certified historic structures like the Madison, but they expired last year. He says they are necessary to keep the historic structure standing.
"I don't believe there's a question of whether or not this block will be redeveloped. But as you've seen around downtown Peoria, the decision has been either to revitalize a building like the Pere Marquette or tear down other buildings like where the new Marriott Courtyard is going. So I'm hopeful that rather than replace the structure that we'll refurbish it and find some additional uses for the retail next door and the parking lot as well."
The state is also offering 25-percent tax credits for historic state structures.
The city of Peoria is partnering with the owners of the Madison Theater to find groups interested in redeveloping the facility and building new construction on the adjacent city-owned parking lot. Two groups have submitted ideas to the city. Details on what’s next for the project are expected within the next two weeks.