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Old January 31st, 2007, 03:24 PM   #221
nomarandlee
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I agree with you about the Northbrook proposal. As someone who grew up there is seems unfortunate that this is an ex-press way oriented project as opposed to a rail based project.

The town could easily use a redevelopment of its downtown to be more high density and has plenty of aweful retail/commercial buildings that could use redevelopment and have potential. It has some of the worst downtown buildings along the north shore and its wealthy enough to build some nice developments if that was the chosen route. Lots of money can't seem to buy taste or sense though.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 11:09 PM   #222
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http://www.dailyherald.com/search/se....asp?id=275553

Although at least 10 years off, Schaumburg starts to plan for STAR rail station

By Eric Peterson

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Though the proposed STAR rail line connecting O’Hare International Airport with suburbs to the west and south is still an estimated 10 years off, Schaumburg already is planning the redevelopment of the area where its station would be.

Members of the village board, plan commission and zoning board divided into four teams Tuesday to draw up plans for the area within a half-mile radius of the future station on the Northwest Tollway east of Meacham Road.

The redevelopment would be similar to the downtowns of villages like Arlington Heights and Palatine, making the most of sitting along an existing Metra route.

More than just a place to get on or off a train, the area around the station would be a place where condominiums, restaurants, stores and entertainment centers would be built closely together.

That area already has been transformed within the last year by the opening of a new convention center and a 500-room Renaissance Hotel.

The four teams assumed those two elements would remain.

“Our point in doing this is that we have some changing land use on the north end of town, meaning that we’ve been getting some calls from developers wanting to redevelop the area,” Planning Services Manager Julie Summers said.

Among the elements the four teams were asked to include in their separate plans were bus transfer facilities, stores, restaurants, condos, a high-end hotel and the train station itself.

Despite the recent opening of the Renaissance Hotel, the continued growth of business at its convention center and the future construction of a performing arts theater next door mean at least one more hotel will be needed in the area, Community Development Director Christopher Huff said.

There are already 1,500 condo units within a half mile of the future train station, but many more may be built as a result of the station, Huff said.

As in downtowns like Arlington Heights’, condos are a steady source of customers for the businesses around them. Hotel guests alone won’t provide all the customers in the area around the STAR line, Huff said.

Village staffers’ next step is to coordinate a redevelopment plan that includes ideas from all four of Tuesday’s teams.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 02:17 AM   #223
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Wow, that's great. It's nice to see that Schaumburg is planning on having this in the future. That gives more likelihood to the proposal.

I was down there at the Renaissance last weekend. It's pretty auto-oriented, but it has some interesting architectural features (a huge circular peristyle) that bring its parking lot down to human scale. It would actually be interesting to walk around there.

A second phase at the Renaissance, on a grass lot to the immediate west, is planned - it's a big glass cone. I'm not sure what it actually IS (hotel/condo/office?), but it was in all the renderings and the land was not turned into a parking lot when it easily could have been. It's surrounded by a little driveway right now.

Also, Schaumburg put a somewhat-attractive bike path onto the Meacham overpass. Still no one using it, of course.


BTW - I've seen some basic renderings of the STAR station. It basically looks like the stations on the Dan Ryan and Kennedy medians, if they had been built in the 1920s (Arts and Crafts). I doubt the finished product will be done in a historical style, though.

Last edited by ardecila; February 1st, 2007 at 08:02 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:09 AM   #224
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The cone thing is the planned performing arts theatre.



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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:00 AM   #225
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Ah, I didn't catch that part in the article.

It's good that it's a performing arts center. An office tower or another hotel might prefer a more conventional, cost-effective design, but theaters often like to push the envelope.

So yeah, the land is there. However, the empty plot in real life does not look big enough to have such a large building on it. Either that, or it's foreshortened from my point of view on the Meacham overpass.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 01:54 PM   #226
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magining a new Milwaukee Ave.
Glenview has visions of spruced up corridor

By Courtney Flynn
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 26, 2007

Days of intense brainstorming in Glenview resulted in an ambitious start to transforming Milwaukee Avenue from a hodgepodge of hotels, fast-food restaurants and homes to a tree-lined gateway to the community that welcomes pedestrians and bicyclists.

Local developers, architects, residents and village officials huddled this week in the Glenview Police Department to find ways to improve the corridor through the southwest part of the village.

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The ideas will be fine-tuned in the next month or so and could be considered by the Village Board as early as this spring, officials said. The goal is to provide guidelines for how the corridor is developed.

"To see that it's a possibility to change from what it is now, that's very hopeful," said Kathy Cepa, a resident who is on the committee appointed to study Milwaukee Avenue. "Anyone new coming in, they'll have to see what we want now for the future."

At the end of the six-day session, village officials presented their "work in progress" to the community Wednesday night. Officials were quick to say that nothing is set in stone, and they encouraged suggestions from residents.

"In some respects this is really just a beginning," said Village Trustee Jim Patterson, the committee's chairman.

Some ideas include adding landscaping, creating a more uniform look for commercial areas, minimizing the impact of construction along Milwaukee Avenue and building bike and pedestrian paths, officials said.

In recent months the village has received about 10 inquiries from businesses that want to redevelop property in the area, officials said. Glenview's zoning code and comprehensive plan do not include many specifics on how best to proceed, they said.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has plans to widen Milwaukee Avenue and reconfigure the intersection at Lake Avenue. Glenview officials want to formulate their plans for the corridor as the work progresses.

As a business owner on the committee, Mary Venezia said she is most concerned about how the IDOT construction will affect local shops.

Generally, though, she said plans for the corridor look promising.

She supports the addition of landscaping and would like to see more connections between parking lots to help businesses draw customers.

"Right now, it's a mishmash of architecture and signage," she said. "I'm liking some of the things I'm seeing."

Committee member Ellen Dean said that she was "a big fan" of the brainstorming session going in and that sentiment was solidified coming out.

"You could see the momentum . . . people were really feeding off one another's ideas," Dean said. "The corridor will look much greener, much more pedestrian- and bike-friendly and much more reflective of the village of Glenview with this plan."

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Old February 1st, 2007, 04:03 PM   #227
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Waukegan has nice condo tower planned for the lake front. Marquette Place.
sorry but I couldn't pull photos off of the web based slide show. maybe some one else can.



Marquette Place link
http://www.marquetteplace.biz/index.html

Waukegan Downtown master plan by SOM
http://www.waukeganvision.com/index.html
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Old February 1st, 2007, 07:37 PM   #228
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I love all the refurbishments that are planned for our suburbs these days. It's really too bad that most didn't use good planning to begin with like the true North Shore suburbs.

Winnetka is so well planned that even at the turn of the century, the village actually entrenched the Metra tracks below street grade. This is the only suburb that did this. Now, the tracks provide more safety, are more aestetically pleasing, and reduce noise polution in the surrounding areas.

Right now, the village is burying all the power lines and other phone/cable lines. Soon, ugly telephone and power lines will be a thing of the past.

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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:50 PM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs View Post
Waukegan has nice condo tower planned for the lake front. Marquette Place.
sorry but I couldn't pull photos off of the web based slide show. maybe some one else can.



Marquette Place link
http://www.marquetteplace.biz/index.html

Waukegan Downtown master plan by SOM
http://www.waukeganvision.com/index.html
Cool development - didn't know about this one until now.

Marquette Place
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:52 PM   #230
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Suburb wading into water park development

By Ken Manson

Special to the Tribune
Published February 1, 2007, 3:27 PM CST

Trying to catch the recent wave of water parks to hit the Chicago area, developers have proposed building an indoor resort in Hoffman Estates as part of a $150 million development.

The project, which also includes a 15-story hotel and conference center, would be built on 22 acres in the Prairie Stone Business Park.

Despite concerns about parking, the Hoffman Estates Plan Commission Wednesday night unanimously approved preliminary plans for the development. The Village Board also would have to approve the project.

Last year, major resort projects including indoor water parks also were announced for Rosemont and Gurnee. In both cases, the park would be linked with a hotel.

The main competition for such facilities is across the border in Wisconsin, where more than two dozen water parks are in operation.

The developers in Hoffman Estates-FGL Hospitality of Columbus Ohio, and Waterpark H20TEL USA LLC of Lakemoor, Ill.-hope to break ground this summer. The goal is to finish work in time for an opening in 2009, officials said.

The project is expected to generate about $1.4 million in sales and entertainment taxes annually for Hoffman Estates, said Gary Skoog, the community's director of economic development.

Several members of the Plan Commission questioned whether the 788 parking spaces envisioned for the facility at Beverly Road and Prairie Stone Parkway would be adequate.

"I don't want overflow parking. I want parking on site that's satisfactory and meets all needs," said Planning Commission Chairman Gary Stanton.

The community's traffic engineer and Gregory Andre, a lawyer representing the developers, said the parking "meets or exceeds" those used at similar hotel water parks.

Commission members suggested cutting down the number of floors, building a parking deck or possibly buying more land for additional parking from Sears, Roebuck and Co. owner of the business park.

Officials said Sears indicated it didn't want to sell land to the developers for parking.

The cost of a parking deck would be prohibitive, costing between $10,000 and $12,000 per space, Andre said.

The project will include a fitness center, 20,000-square-foot conference facility and the 60,000-square-foot water park. It also will have a 20,000-square-foot indoor play area with arcade.

The water park features will include a wave pool, toddler pools, tube and body slides and a rafting river, officials said.

It would be open only to hotel guests and those using the birthday party room.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:08 AM   #231
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^ Wow, that is pretty nice (the rendering, at least)
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #232
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http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/m...searchType=all

Plans for Aurora get more ambitious
Condos, retail could reshape its downtown


When two developers stepped forward more than a year ago with plans to remake Aurora's struggling downtown, their proposals, envisioning hundreds of condos and several blocks of retail and commercial space, were regarded by many as ambitious.

Now, the developers are expanding on their original plans with proposals that would amount to a dramatic reshaping of this far west suburban city's downtown.

Early last year, Geneva-based Sho-Deen Inc. presented local officials with a plan to build 650 condominiums and 125,000 square feet of commercial space on a 26-acre site at the south edge of Aurora's downtown, along State Route 25. The project was valued at around $250 million. But earlier this month, Sho-Deen unveiled a new proposal that calls for as many as 2,000 condos, 225,000 square feet of stores, a hotel and a new commuter train station in 18 new buildings on 34 acres.

The total value of the project, which is likely to break ground in 2008, has risen to nearly $600 million. "We've gained control over more land, and that's one reason we've upsized," says Sho-Deen President David Patzelt. "As revitalization of the downtown economy proceeds, we think the demand will be there for a mix of residential and commercial development."

CONVENTION CENTER


On the west side of the Fox River, Vanstrand Group Inc. is nearing completion of two condo towers that will add nearly 100 units priced from $200,000 to $375,000 to the downtown. With about 35 units sold, the company is encouraged enough to begin planning a third building, this one with 100 condos, likely to break ground by summer. And Vanstrand is now talking about building a 300-room hotel with convention facilities on an adjacent site, with groundbreaking possible early next year. The total value of Vanstrand's investment would approach $200 million.

"Our condos are selling at the pace we had originally anticipated and we're quite satisfied," says Joseph Vantreese, CEO of Vanstrand Group, who has obtained financing from Royal Bank of Canada.

Another major project is looming on a third front. Waubonsee Community College, which has a campus in Sugar Grove, west of Aurora, has acquired 16 parcels along downtown Aurora's River Street and is expected to announce plans for a $50-million campus there.

Some hurdles remain — Sho-Deen, for instance, is asking the city to contribute $11 million for infrastructure improvements — but officials are expected to go along with most of what the developers ask for, given the prospect of at least $850 million in new downtown construction.

"No question this is a huge positive for us," says Thomas Weisner, mayor of the city of 180,000. "Our downtown has been dormant for most of the past 30 years. Now, our time has come."
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #233
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^ HOLY SWEET FLYING ****!

850 mil is a serious amount of reinvestment cash for a dilapidated old fox river town like aurora. impressive. let's hope they can get these plans out of the ground.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 04:22 AM   #234
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Well, according to Wikipedia, Aurora is now the 2nd-largest city in the state with almost 160000 people, beating out Rockford's 150000. It deserves this level of development. Too bad it's not closer to the central city.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #235
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actually, I believe aurora is over 170,000 now, and rockford is closing in on 155,000. Joliet, for that matter, is probably over 140,000 by now (from city-data.com)


here's some nimbyism from up highwood way....

Ft. Sheridan residents attack plan for development
Condos would be eyesore, they say

By Susan Kuczka
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 5, 2007

As Highwood officials try to make over their North Shore town, residents of an exclusive subdivision are fighting plans to build twin nine-story towers containing condominiums and upscale shops near their shoreline homes.

"These towers will stick out like sore thumbs," said Fran Kuchinsky, a resident of the Town of Ft. Sheridan, located on the site of the historic former Army base. "City officials may think this is going to be a financial cow. But we feel it's going to be a white elephant."

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Kuchinsky is among Ft. Sheridan residents planning to protest the multimillion-dollar Highwood Towers development at a city hearing Monday. A standing-room-only crowd packed a hearing on the proposal last month.

"Not one resident spoke in favor of the development," said Paul Diambri, Highwood's former city attorney.

Diambri has been helping residents gather information to fight the proposal to demolish the closed five-story Hotel Moraine at 700 N. Sheridan Rd. to make way for the twin high rises.

If built, the 105-foot towers would be among only a few high-rise buildings on the North Shore. The Ft. Sheridan subdivision is home to a 145-foot, nine-story condo building, but its proximity to Lake Michigan makes it invisible from Sheridan Road, the main thoroughfare through Highwood.

What makes the Highwood Towers project especially desirable to city officials is the planned construction of an estimated 30,000-square-feet of ground-level retail space on the 3.8-acre site.

More than 160 condos, ranging from about $250,000 to $500,000 each, would be located on the upper floors.

Mayor Vincent Donofrio and other city officials contend the development would boost the city's stagnant sales-tax base by opening the door for major retailers such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe's grocery stores. A fitness center also is being contemplated.

Since Ft. Sheridan became home to more than 500 pricey condos, town homes and single-family residences nearly a decade ago, a handful of boutique shops have moved in too, helping Highwood's commercial district offer more to visitors than its widely respected lineup of Italian restaurants.

City officials say the project could help continue downtown revitalization efforts on one of the few sites available for development in the city of about 5,000 residents.

Sandwiched between the significantly larger communities of Lake Forest and Highland Park, Highwood has little room to grow, officials say.

"We have nowhere to go but up," Donofrio said. "My goal is to get this town moving, and I think this is something that's needed."

The developers estimate that the buildings would generate about $100,000 annually in property and sales-tax revenue toward the city's $4.7 million annual budget, officials said.

"We'd like to vitalize our business district beyond our main restaurant industry," Donofrio said. "Right now, the main complaint about Highwood Towers seems to be the proposed height of the building. But these buildings would be 50 feet lower than our water tower."

The new condominium complex would be built next to Highwood's water tower--a fact that some Ft. Sheridan residents say would make it an undesirable place to live for the price listed by the developers.

Kuchinsky said the height of the project is not residents' primary objection.

Many feel it would cause horrendous traffic on winding Sheridan Road while putting hundreds of residents next to the city's largest apartment complex, the four-story, 252-unit North Shore Estates.

The Town of Ft. Sheridan opened to the public in 1999 after the Army closed its facilities on the 700-acre, 100-year-old base where several structures had been declared national landmarks because of their unusual architecture.

The subdivision is split between Highwood and Highland Park.

With one of Ft. Sheridan's two main entrances directly across the street from the proposed site of Highwood Towers, Ft. Sheridan residents contend the project would pollute the air and bring more students to their already underfunded schools. Some feel the proposal is being rushed through the City Council without enough study.

"Obviously, people are worried their property values will decline," said Mary L. Sfasciotti, a Ft. Sheridan resident and attorney helping organize opposition.

Many who live at Ft. Sheridan would at least like to see the twin towers downsized, she said.

"Otherwise, many of them would be able to see this monstrosity from their front doorstep," Sfasciotti said.

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Old February 9th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #236
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Cool development - didn't know about this one until now.

Marquette Place
9 floors
Waukegan
Check out www.waukeganvision.com. City is planning to put in a park that goes down to the waterfront and get rid of the ugly industry by the lakeshore there. They're also starting to double and put in all new boat slips. As well as have a raised walkways and bikeways throughout the wetlands just north of northern pennisula. These pathways will connect the state park to the pennisula. The city last summer updated the sidewalks along Genesee street as well. 2 restaurants have already opened and a bistro is opening in the next couple of months. The city has been following the master plan outlined here to the "T".

Rumors I'm hearing say at least two other developers have major housing developments going in on the lakeshore in the next two years besides this one. I've visited the office for Marquette Place this past week and this is going to be one beautiful property! It's only a block from the metra station there and will have 180 degree views of the lake starting in the low $200's.

If Waukegan does everything they say they're gonna do, this will be an amazing return on investment over the next 5 years.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 09:50 PM   #237
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I agree. Waukegan's position on the lake in between two metro areas is ideal for future development. Now that industry has abandoned its lakeshore sites, the city has an awesome opportunity to redevelop as is needed. I definitely think things are looking up for Waukegan....and also Kenosha.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #238
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Could it finally start?

http://www.globest.com/news/842_842/.../152890-1.html

Alter Starts $90M Tower, Active Year On Tap
By Gina Kenny


...

In Downers Grove, the Alter Group is planning Corridors 4 on Finley Road, Ward says. Two seven-story buildings, with a total 441,500 sf, have been designed by Helmut Jahn and are expected to be LEED certified by the US Green Building Council, Alter says. The firm has not decided on a date yet for the groundbreaking, and an estimated completion date was not available.

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Old February 13th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #239
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http://www.dailyherald.com/search/se....asp?id=280562

Vernon Hills may be site of luxury condo development

By Mick Zawislak

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Could a top-floor restaurant overlooking the Des Plaines River be coming to Vernon Hills?

It’s too soon to tell, but developers of a proposed condo project on the south end of town are open to suggestion.

“I don’t think any good idea is foreign to this design team,” said Kevin Breslin, of Richmond Breslin LLP, the Chicago firm that wants to build 14 acres east of Milwaukee Avenue across from American Hotel Register.

Breslin, speaking for Riverview Development Group LLC, is proposing three, seven-story luxury condo buildings, a clubhouse, pool and four-story mixed use building to include retail space.

Altogether, the project envisions 259 condo units to be known as Riverview Place. They would be situated in a C-shaped configuration with views of the river and adjoining forest preserve.

As is often the case, developers made an informal presentation to the village board to get a sense of whether the project had support. Trustees generally appeared enthusiastic, although several details will need to be fine tuned as the project goes through staff review.

Developers are looking for several variations from current code. The number of proposed condos, for example, exceeds the zoning designation by 56 units. The 491 parking proposed spaces, mostly underground, are 105 less than required.

Trustees Thom Koch and Jim Schultz said they liked the concept said parking would need to be increased to get their votes.

Because of its location as one of the last large spaces in the village river frontage, officials will be demanding a high standard.

“It needs a statement architectural style,” said John Kalmar, assistant village manager. “They really need to bring something to the table with this one and stretch the limit of architectural style we’ve seen in the past.”

Breslin said he anticipated that and is open to ideas for the project. That could include marketing the units as corporate suites.

“We think there is a significant potential demand,” he said.

For access to the site, developers are working to get approval for a fourth leg at what will be a signalized intersection. A three-leg intersection to serve an expansion on the American Hotel Registry property already has been approved.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #240
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http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=280669

Deal for riverfront work on Elgin’s table

City poised to pay architects for plans, study to overhaul dilapidated area

By Rob Phillips

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Elgin City Council will discuss Wednesday spending nearly $184,000 on engineering plans for a riverfront makeover that will redefine a large portion of the city’s waterfront.

Proposals for the area on the site of the dilapidated riverfront parking deck include transforming it into a pedestrian friendly plaza, city officials said.

“I would like to see the deck get fixed and have something usable there rather than the eyesore that we have had the last two or three years,” said John Loete, the city's public works director.

City officials said they hope construction on the $8 million project would begin in 2008. The area is west of Riverside Drive between East Chicago Street and Prairie Street.

The city welcomed ideas for the spot last year and received concepts from several architecture firms. The city council chose to move forward with Naperville-based Hitchcock Design Group, City Manager Olufemi Folarin said.

Although both designs provide gathering areas along the river, one uses a low-level walkway that would allow visitors to dip their toes in the water. The other proposal has a pavilion that could be used for special events.

For the $184,000, Hitchcock would determine the feasibility of the projects based on a thorough investigation of the property and outline the technical requirements of the plans, according to city documents. The cost of this phase rose more than 12 percent since it was pitched in October because of additional research items that were added, city staffers said.

If approved, the engineering work will be paid for with casino funds.

The parking deck was built in the 1960s as a two-story structure with about 120 parking spaces. The top portion was removed during the early 1990s, leaving the lower level exposed. Concrete planks underneath began acting like sponges, collecting rain water, and the entire structure began to crumble under its own weight.

Three repairs in the 1990s totaling $1 million were unsuccessful, and city officials decided more than three years ago to close the remaining 80-space deck.


The Elgin City Council will discuss the first phase of engineering for the estimated $8 million riverfront project at the site of the old riverfront parking deck. Plans may change as the architect, Hitchcock Design Group, continues to fine-tune the plan, city staffers said.


The above plan would allow visitors to get close enough to the water to put their feet in, according to city staff. Construction on the approved design is expected to begin in 2008, staff said.
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