Representatives from a variety of agencies including the City of Joliet, the Forest Preserve District of Will County, the Joliet Park District, Openlands, CMAP, and ULI met to tour the east side of the Former Prison Property (known as Prison East). The tour was another step forward in the ongoing implementation of ULI Chicago’s Technical Assistance Panel recommendations for the Joliet Correctional Center Redevelopment (TAP completed in 2012).
As recommended in the report, the Prison East site should be retained primarily as open space. Currently the site comprises 160 acres and contains many natural elements such as woodlands, two stone quarry ponds, and a floodplain. The site also includes a tipple building (shown above-formerly used to crush rocks) and is bisected by a CN rail line and a newly realigned Woodruff Road.
Those who toured the property were excited to see the site first hand. A lot of discussions were had regarding the exciting possibilities for the future of the property including: environmental protection, educational programming, and recreational activities. Moving forward, agencies will be conducting an environmental study for the property to determine existing conditions. If the environmental study is favorable the goal for the agencies is to work together with the State of Illinois to acquire the property.Authored by Trevor Dick, CMAP
Watch for more progress reports on the Joliet Correctional Center Redevelopment TAP
Read the Joliet Correctional Center Redevelopment TAP report