Pavilion at the Park tabled until 2022


DONOVAN PARK (WEEK) – The Pavilion at the Park Organization hosted a press conference at Donovan Park outlying their proposed 18-acre event space. They also announced today that the organization has withdrawn their land-use agreement with Donovan Park and plans to re-submit in January 2022.

Sara Connor-James, President of the Board of The Pavilion at the Park discussed the increased opportunity that the project can bring to Peoria citing the recent downtick in jobs with Caterpillar leaving the River City, and the general population decrease observed in recent years. The organization continued to spread its message to the community.

“The next couple of steps will be to gain public support to make her message, get our message out there, and to meet with homeowners associations, businesses, organizations to cast the vision to show them what we are bringing, and then once that happens the park board will vote to agree to the lease agreement, and then we will raise money.” Said Sara Connor-James regarding the next steps in their process. She emphasized that no public funds will be going toward the building of this project.

Sara Connor-James also spoke on the concerns of the loss of green space to Donovan Park and attempts to reassure opponents that they will not “pave paradise.”

Opponents to the proposal were present at Donovan Park during the press conference, all of which were expressing their concern over the increased noise and loss of green space that this project will bring.

“That portion of Donovan Park is probably one of the most natural areas of the park.” Said Corey Gorman, an opponent of the Pavilion at the Park. “The loss of green space, even though there is quote-unquote green parking. That is still going to remove a lot of that natural habitat that the park district has worked to put back in place.” The “green parking” he was alluding to was discussed in Conor-James’ address saying they would not “pave paradise.”

The Pavilion at the Park Organization has asked Donovan Park to withdraw their land-use agreement as they do not believe they can continue this year while also making sure the public has a word in the process.

Donovan Park has been at the center of scrutiny from the public since the summer regarding plans for it. We will continue to update this story as it develops.

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