ULI CHICAGO PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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ULI Chicago Report Recommends Right-Sizing Retail, Adding Senior Housing, and Greenspace Along Irving Park Road in Hanover Park
ULI Chicago releases final report based on a Technical Assistance Panel conducted in August 2012 on the Irving Park Road Corridor in Hanover Park
HANOVER PARK, IL (December 17, 2012) —The Urban Land Institute Chicago (ULI Chicago) released report recommendations today offering a vision and strategy to revitalize the Irving Park Road Corridor in Hanover Park.
In partnership with the Village of Hanover Park and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), ULI Chicago convened a panel of 11 experts in development, market feasibility, finance, land use, and design to recommend retail revitalization and land use opportunities. Building on the village’s 2010 comprehensive plan, the panel focused on a corridor that begins near the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway at Wise Road and stretches approximately 2 miles west.
“What you currently have along the corridor is an eclectic mix of commercial storefronts and strip-centers, and a 30% retail vacancy rate throughout the Village,” said James Matanky, President of Matanky Realty Group, Inc. and ULI Chicago panel chair. “Hanover Park has a tremendous opportunity to strategically consolidate and invest in their retail, and it will take nothing less to decrease vacancy, attract retailers, and serve their consumer base.”
While the Village is situated strategically in the region to draw retailers, the Irving Park Road Corridor – located in the Cook County portion of Hanover Park – contends not only with established retail destinations like neighboring Schaumburg, but also much lower property taxes in DuPage County (under 4%, compared to Cook’s 8.6%). Compounded by retail turnover and aging commercial stock, the local market has struggled to sustain and support the existing businesses while adapting to and serving a growing Latino and Asian population.
“It comes down to economic development,” according to Mayor Rodney Craig, who interviewed with the panel and dedicated the Village’s planning department staff to lead the 5-month project as a part of their efforts to bolster existing retail and create additional community assets. “We asked the panel to provide recommendations to improve the retail climate along Irving Park Road and support the community-based businesses along the corridor.”
Over a two-day period, the panel toured the study area, engaged community and business stakeholders, studied retail viability and explored different strategies to revitalize the area. Identifying an excess of retail as the central challenge, the panel developed a plan to right-size existing retail and respond to the challenges voiced by the community and retailers. “Some recommendations are small but significant planning issues – like improving connections for pedestrian and bike access throughout the corridor, or adding lighting and sidewalk improvements. But others are big land use changes that will send a strong signal to retailers and shoppers that Hanover Park wants them in their community,” said Matanky.
The report recommendations are focused around three goals: supporting the existing successful businesses, attracting new businesses, and bringing more people into the Village to shop. In addition to adding streetscaping, reconfiguring parking lots and facilitating bike and pedestrian access, the panel recommended repurposing the eastern half of the corridor from retail to senior housing and community uses, taking nearly 200,000 square feet of vacant retail lots or buildings off the market, a move that the panel says will support retail health throughout the Village.
Like many communities in the region, Hanover Park is an increasingly diverse community with younger families and larger household size. “It is important for communities to plan for retail based on realistic assessments of how much they can support. Development of local best practices will help other communities facing similar challenges to adapt to shifting demographics and development patterns,” said Bob Dean, Deputy Executive Director of Local Planning at CMAP.
The panel and final report resulted from a grant to the Village of Hanover Park from CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance program to fund ULI Chicago’s efforts.
Village of Hanover Park (hpil.org) is a dynamic community of over 37,000 centrally located in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The mission of the Village is to provide responsive and effective municipal services toward the goal of maintaining a good quality of life for its residents and businesses. With over 600 businesses and 4.6 million square feet of industrial development, the Village is dedicated to supporting good business and economic development.
ULI Chicago (chicago.uli.org), a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has more than 1,000 members in the Chicago land area. Organized in 1986, the district council celebrates 25 years in 2012. The ULI Chicago Technical Assistance Panel program draws upon ULI member expertise to provide creative and practical solutions to land use challenges in communities across the Chicago region and beyond. ULI Chicago’s TAP program was started in 2002.
The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) (cmap.illinois.gov) is the official regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. CMAP developed and now leads the implementation of GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago’s first comprehensive regional plan in more than 100 years. To address anticipated population growth of more than 2 million new residents, GO TO 2040 establishes coordinated strategies that help the region’s 284 communities address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues.