Last week the Illinois legislature voted to extend historic tax credits to OSF Healthcare. That means the healthcare provider can now use that money to help pay for the development of the former Chase Bank building in downtown Peoria.
The house and senate approved an amendment to the Illinois Income Tax Act. Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth says it carried over tax credits an extra five years, making a total of 10 once the project is completed.
OSF healthcare announced earlier this year it was going to purchase the building from Caterpillar and redevelop it for it's headquarters. The Chase Bank complex is three buildings. But OSF controls the entire block bordered by Adams, Washington Fulton and Main Streets. The tax credits would not only be available to OSF but any other business that would locate on that block.
"When they made the decision to go into the old Chase building, we wanted to put them in the best possible position to be able to not only go into that Chase building and have that as their headquarter, but we also wanted them to be in a strong position to be able to expand economic development work to go down that entire city block," said Peoria State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth.
A spokesman for OSF said with the historic tax credits the building will be given it's original design.
"The good thing about the historic tax credit program you can very easily expect what the building will look like on the outside, cause the point of the program is to restore the buildings to their original look," said OSF spokesman Ryan Spain.
Spain says the $90-million dollar project could bring more than 200 construction jobs to downtown. He said they're hoping to start the first phase of work by the end of the year. Even with the tax credit OSF is awaiting one more green light, to be listed on the national register of historic places.