Nearly a decade after creating the original concept for a new Romeoville downtown, Hitchcock Design Group will continue its work to make that vision a reality.
On Wednesday, trustees OK’d a $28,000 contract to retain the Naperville firm to design a redevelopment plan for the village’s downtown corridor.
The area, currently dominated by the mostly vacant 10-acre Spartans’ Square shopping center bordered by Route 53, Alexander Circle, Phelps Avenue and Townhall Drive, is slated for a major overhaul in the years to come. The village has owned the shopping center since 2008, and plans to demolish the site to make way for the new downtown.
“After nine years of testing the market … we have figured that this needs to be kind of neighborhood oriented,” Village Manager Steve Gulden said. Hitchcock’s role will be to help determine how retail and other commercial developments will fit into the revitalized downtown.
Gulden said Hitchcock’s new role will be different from its work in developing the master plan, calling the nearly decade-old document “very general.”
“It was kind of a blueprint,” he said. “[The new design] is going to be very specific,” down to what will go where in the new downtown.
Mayor John Noak added the village is saving money by hiring a firm that is already familiar with the history of Spartans' Square and the downtown redevelopment master plan.
“This work will build upon [the master plan] and get much more specific,” Noak said. “Not only do they know the history of the site, but they know our expectations. This will be the stuff that most residents want to see.”
The design will also take into account the economic changes that have taken place in the last decade.
“The economy’s changed, the types of retail centers, how space is used,” Noak said.
The contract with Hitchcock will cost the village $28,000 plus reimbursements for expenditures like printing, mileage and courier services.
The deal with Hitchcock is the village’s latest step toward making the downtown master plan a reality.
Last month, Noak announced that the village is finalizing negotiations with Land and Lakes Company for the downtown corridor.
The company has several completed developments in the village, including the Heritage Place and Poplar Ridge subdivisions, along with the Bluff Point industrial development.