PEORIA — As of now, Prospect Road forms a T-type intersection at its northern terminus, Knoxville Avenue. But that three-way stoplight might become a four-way light soon.
Katie Kim, who oversees the Keller Station mixed-use development on the west side of Knoxville Avenue, wants to connect her property to Prospect Road at that intersection. Doing so isn’t a cut-and-dried procedure.
“There are many, many, many steps,” Kim said. “This is my first time doing a design for a stoplight. It’s definitely a learning experience.”
Kim said she hopes intersection construction will take place sometime this year.
Tearing down a wall at Keller Station
The proposed new entrance would be the second from Knoxville Avenue into Keller Station, an office/retail/restaurant complex whose first tenants opened in 2019.
A wall now stands along the Keller Station boundary at the Prospect-Knoxville junction. The proposed entrance would be just south of the building that housed Bone’s frozen-custard restaurant, which closed last year.
“The way we’re looking to design it, we hope to basically just add that extension at the stoplight,” Kim said.
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How will the intersection extension be paid for?
Keller Station would pay for the intersection extension, according to Kim. A special sales tax at Keller Station businesses is an option for a revenue source.
Creation of a Keller Station business development district has been proposed. Such a district would allow an additional sales tax of up to 1% to be imposed.
A similar funding mechanism helped pay for improvements at Westlake Shopping Center in Peoria.
Proceeds from the Keller Station tax could be used to finance other improvements there. Kim cited new sidewalks and benches.
Several additional steps needed before construction begins
The City Council would have to approve creation of the Keller Station tax district, Kim said. A public hearing is to be held during the council meeting Feb. 22.
“In the past, it’s gotten bad reputations about how people use it,” Kim said about the funding program. “All of our proposed expenses are for community development within our campus. … If done right, it can add a lot of value to the community.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation also will have to sign off on the intersection project, for which a traffic study is necessary. IDOT’s involvement stems from Knoxville Avenue’s designation as a state highway (Illinois Route 40).
An IDOT regional headquarters and road-maintenance facility once was housed in what now are Keller Station buildings, which the Peoria Park District assumed control of eventually. Kim and the park district are partners in the development.
The new intersection is part of other proposed Keller Station improvements. A bakery, a flower shop and an events center are to fill spaces in buildings the park district once occupied.