Peregrine soliton (PS) is widely regarded as a prototype nonlinear structure capturing properties of rogue waves that emerge in the nonlinear propagation of unidirectional wave trains. It has been recently demonstrated that PS can emerge locally, as an asymptotic structure arising from the propagation of an arbitrary large decaying pulse, independently of its solitonic content. This mathematical discovery has changed the widely accepted paradigm of the solitonic nature of rogue waves by enabling the PS to emerge from partially radiative or even completely solitonless initial data. In this work, we realize this scenario in a water tank experiment with a particular aim to control the point of the PS occurrence in space-time by imposing an appropriately chosen initial chirp. By employing the inverse scattering transform for the synthesis of the initial data, we are able to engineer a localized wave packet with a prescribed solitonic and radiative content. This enabled us to control the position of the emergence of the rogue wave by adjusting the inverse scattering spectrum. The proposed method of nonlinear spectral engineering is found to be robust to higher-order nonlinear effects, preceding the wave breaking dynamics, that are inevitable in realistic wave propagation conditions.