PEORIA — Much of Peoria's Downtown has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation for the Downtown Peoria Historic District, a 17-block swath of Downtown, is crucial for developers looking to access historic tax credits to renovate buildings there for new uses.

"This distinction provides developers with the opportunity to take advantage of tax credits that can rehab our historic properties for today's market and provide new development, attractions, and amenities to an area that is already seeing investment nearby in the Warehouse District," Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said in a prepared statement.

The district is roughly bounded by North William Kumpf Boulevard, Perry Avenue and Fulton, Fayette and Water streets.

Properties in the district also already qualify for state historic tax credits because they are in the River Edge Redevelopment Zone.

The national historic designation for the district is different from a similar application still being pursued that would allow a subsidiary of OSF HealthCare access to tax credits for the rehabilitation of the health care organization's new headquarters to be located at 124 SW Adams St. OSF officials have said that designation is crucial to their ability to begin substantial work on the $90 million project.