Romeoville OKs redevelopment plan
By Brock A. stein For The Herald-News April 19, 2012 2:10PM
Updated: May 24, 2012 8:05AM
ROMEOVILLE — Trustees have approved an ordinance laying out a plan for the village’s east side redevelopment.
In 2011, the village received a grant from the Regional Transportation Authority for the study. The grant will pay for $80,000 with the village responsible for $20,000.
The plan, designed by Teska & Associates, will serve as the template for redevelopment of the area near a proposed Metra Station south of 135th Street.
The plan calls for a “transit-oriented development” to take advantage of land near the proposed station that will focus on residential use, business use, and links that will allow pedestrians to move to and from the Metra station. The plan calls for substantial use of open spaces, and takes into consideration privately held property that may play a part in the redevelopment.
According to village documents, the development will “connect employees to jobs, [and] customers to businesses.”
Community Development Director Steve Rockwell said that the plan was laid out in just under a year, which included initial planning, along with input from the public.
“They did it on time, and on budget,” said Rockwell of the design firm’s work.
“It was a challenging project,” said lead planner Konstantine Savoy, a planner who noted the imposing Citgo oil refinery that figures prominently in the area.
Savoy said the development team’s goal was to create a “seamless link” between the east side to the downtown area while using the planned Metra station to encourage ridership along the Metra Heritage Corridor line.
Under the plan, open spaces like the existing Big Run Golf course will be maintained albeit as a nine-hole course. In addition, Bambrick Park and the Hine’s emerald dragonfly habitat west of the CN railroad tracks will be maintained.
Mayor John Noak said that the plan provides a blueprint for how the area will be developed over period of 10-30 years. The plan’s focus will center around the Metra station which is set to begin construction sometime in 2014 south of the Citgo Lemont Refinery at New Avenue and 135th Street.
“It’s a great and exciting opportunity for our area,” said Noak who noted that the village got its start in the east side.
“It’s going back to our roots,” he said.