K’s Creek owners converting former Jacksonville bank to mixed-use marketplace

The owners of K’s Creek Golf Club & Kitchen 63 are preparing to make an addition to Jacksonville’s downtown square.

John Rohn said he and his wife, Rachel, have bought a building at 73 E. Central Park Plaza and rechristened it as The Plaza. The planned shop will have 16,000 square feet of retail suites on the main floor, which would surround a new indoor marketplace setting.

The second floor of the building would have 14,000 square feet of professional and office suites. Rohn said he and his wife intend to clean the building’s basement out in case one of their tenants on the second floor needs more space.

Rohn said one of the new businesses that would be in The Plaza would be a combination ax throwing range/virtual reality escape room called The Vault. He said the ax throwing range was originally intended for K’s Creek and that his wife was particularly excited about this business.

“(It is) going to be the only combination of its kind in the downstate Illinois area,” Rohn said.

While still in the early phases of planning, Rohn said several people have contacted the couple about having a space in the building. He said they were expecting it to lease out quickly once plans were finalized and were going to be judicious with the businesses they allow in The Plaza.

“We’re going to be selective on our tenants to make sure that whoever we bring in here is complementary to the other businesses around us,” Rohn said. “We want to be very, very careful not to bring in businesses that will do any harm to those already there.”

Rohn said the goal of this renovation is to “take a vacant building that has been virtually empty for over a decade and create an inviting space where new businesses can join our thriving downtown scene.”

He said the couple believed the development would bring new jobs and foot traffic to downtown, noting that they hoped The Vault would attract people from outside of town and those visiting Jacksonville for other reasons to the building.

Work on the building began Monday morning. Construction cannot start until the city gives the go-ahead, but Rohn said he was expecting it to begin within the next month. He said he was not sure when it would be completed, but was hoping for The Plaza’s first tenant, whether that be The Vault or another business, to be in the building by the start of 2023.

The building, constructed in 1870, was the former location of the Elliot bank building. Rohn said the last time it was remodeled was in 1986.

It is the second announcement in recent weeks of a downtown building being restored as a business.

Gillham House is scheduled to open its doors this month at 326 W. State St. It will be home to three to four storefronts for small businesses, including Nothing Fancy Supply Co., which makes beeswax food wraps. Other products that will be available at the store include cosmetics and health items from Auburn-based Bewitching Botanicals.

The building was previously Buchanan Funeral Home before it became Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home and was relocated to Lincoln Avenue.

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