PEORIA (WEEK) – There’s an agreement in principle for Peoria developer Kim Blickenstaff to buy a long-abandoned Peoria church that’s badly in need of repairs, Blickenstaff’s KDB Group announced Friday in a news release.
While many details have yet to be worked out, Blickenstaff said he intends to buy Hale Memorial Church at Main and High Streets from a Utah couple who bought the church in an online auction for just over $22,000.
According to the news release, the current owners could not afford to restore the church, built at the turn of the last century. Peoria’s city government was seeking to demolish the building, known for its stained glass windows and its Romanesque Revival Neo-Gothic style, because it had fallen into such disrepair.
KDB Group said it’s agreed to compensate the current owners for the cost of purchasing the church, “plus a bit more.”
Greg Birkland, KDB’s chief executive officer, said the immediate priority is to make structural repairs, particularly the roof to stop ongoing water damage.
Future plans for the church haven’t been determined, but Birkland said the church has a stage that “lends itself to an entertainment venue.”
Two years ago, Blickenstaff purchased the old Scottish Rite Cathedral in Peoria and turned it into a performing arts center.
KDB Group plans to take possession of Hale Memorial Church in July.
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