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Kim Blickenstaff Buys the Endangered Koinonia House

Contributed photo

Prolific Peoria-area developer Kim Blickenstaff is buying the Koinonia House at the foot of Knoxville Avenue to save it from the wrecking ball.

Blickenstaff said he's buying the Victorian mansion at 1509 N. Knoxville from owner Chris Petruzzi for $130,000 because he believed it would be demolished if he didn't.

Petruzzi bought the house in 2011 and converted it into apartment for single Christians. He filed for a demolition order earlier this month after the home was vacated following a July 2019 cooking fire.

The developer said he may potentially convert the four-story house into an AirBnB or apartments for people who work at the nearby hospitals.

The house was constructed in 1894 for Peoria businessman Peter Spurck.

Blickenstaff also purchased the Scottish Rite Cathedral and Peoria Armory in the past year. He's also responsible for a number of Peoria Heights developments, and two nature resorts on both sides of the Illinois River.

He's a Spring Bay native who made his fortune in the California biotech industry before returning home to Central Illinois.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.