Making Peoria a 'headquarters city': OSF Healthcare cuts ribbon outside downtown HQ
OSF healthcare will be moving into its new headquarters the first week of January — and on Friday, OSF celebrated with an outdoor ribbon cutting.
The building, 124 Southwest Adam Street, was built in the first decade of the 1900s. Bob Sehring is the CEO for OSF.
"This headquarters is a testament to the commitment of OSF," the healthcare system's CEO Bob Sehring said. "To not only the future of healthcare, but to our patients and their families. We will always strive, much like our pioneer sisters did, to serve our communities with the greatest care and love."
OSF Healthcare began about a century ago when the sisters of the Order of Saint Francis opened a hospital inside a home at 708 SW Adams St. — just a few blocks from the new HQ, Sister Judith Ann Duvall said.
"In so many respects this does feel like coming home," she said. "Peoria has been such an important part of our sisters' history. ... This return to Downtown ... is exciting."
The sisters oversaw a "contagion hospital" during the 1918 epidemic, and cared for children and young, pregnant women, Duvall said.
"They fed the hungry too, and the homeless, during the Depression times, and provided healthcare for them," them healthcare," she said. "Many of these individuals, the sisters told us, came back, and as an expression of gratitude, helped the sisters care for others. ... They were everywhere. They did whatever what was needed, in the service of human life."
The 124 Adams St. building was the first in the city of Peoria built with steel beams and has had many tenants over the years.
Caterpillar initially planned to demolish the building and building new headquarters, but after deciding to move its headquarters to a Chicago suburb. The "Big Yellow" donated the parcel and adjacent properties to OSF.
Today the building is historically landmarked.
Ryan Spain is the vice president of economic development for OSF. He said the ribbon cutting is a reminder that Peoria is "a headquarters city."
"This building now becomes the site of collaboration to tackle and solve some of the most complicated challenges facing healthcare in the United States," he said.
About 500 OSF healthcare administrative employees will work full time in the building, with another 175 "hoteling" back and forth.
The project is bound by strict Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit criteria; OSF HealthCare is restoring the exterior, and some interior features, to how they looked in the 1950s.
In addition to the restoration of the iconic Chicago windows, the tax credits also call allow for elaborate pillars, moldings, flooring, and staircase restoration, among other things. Federal and state historic tax credits make up around 40 percent of the overall project funding.
Because the building was still an "active construction zone," the public was not allowed inside during Friday's ribbon cutting, OSF spokesperson Shelli Dankoff said.
Eventually, two public-facing restaurants will call the historic 1905 former department store home — Great Harvest Bread Company and Saffron Social. Peoria's CxT Coffee Roasting Co. will also be in the building.
Reporting from Tim Shelley contributed to this story.