• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
A Local Development Journey

A Local Development Journey



A presentation summarizing the evolution and trends of development in the Elmhurst community, with a specific focus on Downtown Elmhurst. Slightly modified versions of this were presented to the ...

A presentation summarizing the evolution and trends of development in the Elmhurst community, with a specific focus on Downtown Elmhurst. Slightly modified versions of this were presented to the communities of Overland, Missouri in November, 2007, and Woodson Terrace, Missouri in March, 2008.



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



2 Embeds 9

http://www.linkedin.com 7
http://www.lmodules.com 2



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    A Local Development Journey A Local Development Journey Presentation Transcript

    • Elmhurst, Illinois: A Development Journey November 2007
    • First, a few disclaimers..
      • These are not new ideas! Many communities do downtown redevelopment; ALL communities CAN do things to make BETTER PLACES.
      • Each community has its own set of circumstances and OPPORTUNITIES; this journey is UNIQUE to Elmhurst.
      • MANY people and institutions acting as a TEAM help make it successful.
      • Each place defines SUCCESS differently.
    • Presentation Summary
      • --Downtown background
      • --Downtown slowdown
      • --Downtown turnaround
      • --An all-around Downtown
      • --TOOLS to USE
      • --Perspectives and Reflections
    • Downtown Background - Historical Perspectives
      • Downtown developed around rail line (1 st major stop outside Chicago in DuPage County)
      • Institutions contributed to area growth (Elmhurst College, Elmhurst Hospital);
      • Traditional downtown development from early 20 th century onward (including some higher density residential development);
      • Traditionally, the commercial center of eastern DuPage County;
      • Retail center (including department stores) into the 60’s and 70’s.
    • Historical perspectives (1900, 1937, 1964, 1965)
    • A Downtown Slowdown..
      • Early 1970’s through early 1990’s
      • Malls arrive (Oakbrook and Yorktown); department stores close or relocate;
      • Lease exclusivity at malls (no same store locations within 5-mile radius);
      • Downtown auto dealers move to outlying locations (more land = more inventory)
      • Transition to service uses and a less-intensive retail business environment.
      • Resulting climate? More storefront vacancies and some marginal uses.
    • 1970’s through early 1990’s
    • A Downtown Turnaround begins (1990’s)..
      • City commits to address Downtown area; Mayor/City Council create Special Commissions for Downtown; DuPage County Planning Dept. provides consultation and assistance.
      • 1980’s: Central Business District Plan efforts
      • 1986: Downtown Tax Increment Finance District created
      • 1990-91: York Theatre (upgrades and expansions with City $ help)
      • 1992: Special Service Area (Elmhurst City Centre) begins
      • Contributing Resources:
      • Commuter train line
      • Cultural and institutional facilities (Wilder Park, museums, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst Hospital)
      • Chamber of Commerce
    • A Downtown Transformed..
        • Plaza area
        •  1990
        • 1996 
        • Police Stn./
        • Schiller deck &
        • res. units
        •  1982
        • 1993 
    • An All-Around Downtown Emerges (1990’s-2000’s)..
      • FACTORS
      • Public/Private PARTNERSHIPS: use of City property & City purchase and use of properties; Public/Private agreements for redevelopment (TIF $ assistance)
      • Parking decks and zoning change (downtown parking goes public)
      • City Centre Plaza (a SPACE is created)
      • Elmhurst City Centre promotions/marketing/events
      • Chamber of Commerce promotions/events
      • Creative use of dollars:
      • Metra (regional rail agency) $  parking decks
      • TIF $  streetscape, lighting, other improvements
      • TIF $  retail grant program, façade grant program
      • Business community…The INVESTORS!!
    • An All-Around Downtown Emerges (1990’s-2000’s)..
      • Commercial property improvement and redevelopment (private sector and public/private);
      • York Theatre upgrades and expansions (from 1 screen to 9 screens);
      • Focus on “entertainment”; restaurants (complement movie theatre), boutique bowling, movies, fun;
      • Commercial space upgrades – focus on independent and boutique retail - Retail Grant Program support;
      • Residential development – over 500 dwelling units added (condos and townhomes) (“retail follows rooftops”);
      • Emergence of a “Cultural Campus” (museums, Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst College), with connection to Central Business District; and
      • School District 205; excellent unified (K-12) local school district  “desirable” community  home ownership/investment  property values.
    • Some Key Downtown Components:
    • Recognition!!
    • A few TOOLS to consider..
      • Employ Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Special Service Areas (SSA’s), Business Improvement Districts (BID’s). Use financing to attract retailers (like Elmhurst’s retail grant and façade programs).
      • Community promotions:  real estate luncheons with guest speakers
      • (1) Commercial broker luncheons:  testimonial speakers: local business people.
      • (2) Residential broker luncheons: invite school superintendents to promote schools.
      • Join ICSC, APA and ULI. Network with real estate brokers, planners, developers.
      • “ Guerilla marketing”: pizza parties, strolling musicians, jazz festivals, battle of the bands, celebrate ANYTHING---even mistakes!! (a “Pardon our Dust” party during/after construction), Taste of Overland, street fests, farmers markets, etc.
      • Celebrate identity!: Conestoga wagon sculptures around community, annual cardboard Conestoga wagon race on Woodson Road.
      • Encourage entertainment uses—restaurants, theatres, bowling alley (or open one yourself)
      • Create great spaces such as downtown plaza (vacant site on sw corner of Woodson & Midland). Entry sign monument, fountain, landscaping, outdoor seating, café, amphitheatre.
      • Create “Overland dollars” gift certificates, dollars for scholars, or other such promotions.
      • Encourage condominium development and public parking through zoning; utilize public/private agreements.
      • Develop shuttle from downtown, employment centers, and Metrolink.
    • Some Perspectives and Reflections:
      • Encourage CREATIVITY of both local officials and the private side;
      • Reinforcing existing DRAWS (anchors) or develop NEW ones;
      • Thinking LONG TERM and remembering the BIG PICTURE;
      • Building/maintaining/enhancing local support (OBA and City);.
      • Pursuing a “well-rounded” approach; using ALL possible programs and LEVERAGING with non-financial incentives;
      • Addressing activists with FACTS and EDUCATION;
      • Use technical assistance – regional planning groups, area government agencies, universities, community colleges, tech. centers, workforce bureaus, etc.;
      • Downtowns do not function on foot traffic alone—need other reasons to go there (very FEW downtowns survive on foot traffic alone—only ones in USA? New York and Chicago); 
      • Continue to use recommendations from the Comprehensive Plan.
      • YOU CAN DO IT!
    • If You Dream It, You Can DO It!!
    • THANK YOU!
      • John D. Said, AICP, Director
      • Department of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development
      • City of Elmhurst
      • 209 N. York Street
      • Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
      • 630.530.6016; [email_address]
      • Visit www.elmhurst.org for retail and façade grant programs info., Downtown Plan, etc. Also visit: www.elmhurstcitycentre.com and www.elmhurstchamber.org for more information.