BREAKING NEWS - OSF offices moving into K's Merchandise building

DeWayne Bartels
OSF St. Francis, Inc. is planning to move office operations into half of the empty K'S Merchandise building on Pioneer Parkway later this year.

OSF St. Francis, Inc. has seen an opportunity in the old K's Merchandise building on Pioneer Parkway the Peoria Public Library Board did not.

OSF St. Francis, Inc. has leased about half of the building to consolidate offices spread throughout Peoria.

This morning Jon McKee, public relations and communications director of OSF St. Francis, Inc, said they are going to take about 40,000 square feet of the available 90,000 square feet. He added the company has an option on another 20,000 square feet.

The move is expected to happen before year's end.

Right now the owners of the building are doing roof repairs, McKee said.

The move is expected to re-locate about 200 employees.

"Moving into this large space makes sense. It's much less costly than building new," McKee said.

"It's a shame to see such a large building sitting empty. We're being good stewards of existing property. Besides, it's going to be great to be back together again."

Pat Nichting, 5th District councilman, said he was very pleased by the revelation.

"As I've said before these empty buildings do not stay empty long. OSF is a major employer, and this shows their continued confidence in this area," Nichting said.

Nichting said this also illustrates continued confidence in the importance of Pioneer Parkway.

"There's a lot of folks being patient waiting for the extension of Pioneer Parkway. It will have a major impact on that area," he said.

"There will only be an escalation of interest in that area once the extension is done. "