ULI Chicago News

ULI Chicago Releases Report Outlining Revitalization Strategies for East Grand Avenue in Gurnee, IL

For more information, please contact Cynthia McSherry, Executive Director, ULI Chicago, 773-549-4972, chicago@uli.org 

ULI Chicago Releases Report Outlining Strategies for Revitalizing East Grand Avenue In Gurnee, IL 

CHICAGO (November 9, 2016) —The Urban Land Institute Chicago (ULI Chicago) has released a report with strategies for revitalizing East Grand Avenue between Route 41 and Green Bay Road in Gurnee, IL. Prepared by an expert panel of ten, cross-disciplinary ULI members, the report recommends creating a unique identity for East Grand Avenue that is distinct from west Gurnee, and rooted in strong local, independent businesses serving surrounding neighborhoods.

Specific recommendations include transforming East Grand Avenue into a multimodal corridor integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods through a completed street network, and streetscape improvements such as continuous sidewalks and coordinated signage to help create an inviting and comfortable environment for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The panel recommends attracting businesses that strengthen the existing cluster of home improvement businesses, or cater to the area’s significant Latino population. Another key recommendation includes activating under-utilized sites by hosting events such as vintage fairs to attract DIY enthusiasts and ethnic festivals to celebrate the area’s Latino heritage. The panel emphasized that revitalizing East Grand Avenue will likely be an incremental, multi-year process and its success will depend on the active participation of area residents and businesses, as well as the neighboring City of Waukegan. As Janet Protas, panel chair, said “Transforming East Grand Avenue into a thriving gateway corridor will require a unified, long-term redevelopment vision implemented through short-term tactics.” Read the complete East Grand Avenue TAP Report

The report is based on a two-day, technical assistance panel convened by ULI Chicago in July of this year in partnership with the Village of Gurnee. The ten-member expert panel toured the study corridor, discussed issues with local officials, interviewed stakeholders, and reviewed detailed background information to understand the challenges facing the corridor, and develop practical solutions for revitalization into a thriving, attractive corridor.  A public presentation of the report’s findings was conducted in August of this year.

For more information about the ULI Chicago technical assistance panel process, please visit: www.chicago.uli.org.


ULI Chicago, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has more than 1,300 members in the Chicago land area. Organized in 1986, the district council’s Technical Assistance Services (TAS) 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 and has engaged local leaders, community members and businesses in over 40 communities providing a strategic approach and comprehensive analysis on land development issues.

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