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Downtown Innovation Hub Redubbed 'Distillery Labs'

The Peoria Innovation Hub is now officially redubbed Distillery Labs. The name is a nod to Peoria's past as the whiskey capital of the world. "We thought about our own story here in the Peoria region. And you know, you can't really think about Peoria without thinking about our distilling past," said Greater Peoria Economic Development Council CEO Chris Setti. The former ICC Thomas Building in downtown Peoria is envisioned as an innovation space for small to medium-sized companies getting off the ground. Setti said that's something the region, which has traditionally been reliant on large employers like Caterpillar, needs. "We need more small companies, small and medium sized companies that can help us weather these blows when they happen. Not just because of a pandemic or disaster, but even the cycles of an economy," he said.Some of the planned features at Distillery Labs include makerspaces for manufacturing and digital creation, computing infrastructure, a rooftop greenhouse, and office space.  Distillery Labs is a partnership between OSF HealthCare, the University of Illinois' Discovery Partners Institute, Illinois Central College, and the Greater Peoria EDC.

A firm opening date still hasn't been announced, but a 2021 debut is expected.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.