Board OKs Downtown Design Contract

Naperville firm awarded $28,000 deal to design a revitalized downtown Romeoville.

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.

Moving forward

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.

Annie H. July 08, 2011 at 05:11 AM
Here's a few things I'd love to see in the area, where I spend time daily: sit-down coffee shop; old-fashioned-style ice cream shop; bookstore (maybe something like Frugal Muse in Lemont); second-run movie theater (along the lines of the Classic Cinemas); Hallmark store (since the one in town left); grocery store - maybe a Trader Joe's to draw people from the west side of Romeoville? Just a few thoughts in case anyone is interested or listening.
Toni July 11, 2011 at 03:30 PM
I would love to see a trader Joe's or Caputo's as well. I love the idea of a movie theater.
carol July 11, 2011 at 04:28 PM
We really need a small grocery store. I'm not familar with Trader Joe's but I just don't think that area is the right market for them. Something smaller and no offense but it should not be only aimed towards the Hispanic community. A bookstore would be great but we also have a new library across the street. I was thinking more on the lines of pet store (many have come and gone in Romeoville), a shop geared towards young children (like along the ilnes of a Build a Bear or make your own goodies shop-great marketing and constant flow of money), a custom printer shop (The Locker Room in Bolingbrook which supplies our school gear and the basic Romeoville gear is always closed and just too far away for anyone to consider buying just a t-shirt) to bring in support and dollars to our high school, youth sports and Romeoville in general, an arcade (Brunswick not ideal for kids to go to on their own) and more. Ice cream shoppe is a good idea but Dairy Queen has been the staple for many years. The possibilites are endless.
ja mee January 03, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Good ideas... I would love a Classic Cimema... I want to point out, however, that the Hallmark did not leave town... it relocated to the Jewel strip mall.
ja mee January 03, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Hopefully, if the shops you are suggesting are for kids to go "unsupervised" they will not turn in to "bad hangouts." ... I have seen some "shaddy looking" kids just hanging out in the jewel strip mall ... that is NOT appealing!
Annie H. January 04, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Sadly, Hallmark moved out of Jewel strip mall months ago...I found that out one day when I went to buy birthday items. No clue why they left. Closest ones are now Crest Hill or Bolingbrook Promenade. ja mee, I work in this downtown area and live 5 minutes from it. Kids are kids. In Romeoville, there are NO good places for our kids to gather - unless they go to a church (like the one in High Point) or are involved in some kind of sport. We desperately need safe, fun places for them to go. Dairy Queen isn't even open all year round and, as much as I like DQ, I think we can do better for this side of town. I'm REALLY hopeful that someone on the Board and/or at Hitchcock will seriously look into the Classic Cinemas idea. I think it could bring more restaurants to this side of town as well as other businesses.
Pat November 08, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Grocery store, Hallmark, Ice Cream Parlor, Book Store..Wonderful ideas. I do hope they put up a place where kids can go and have fun. There is really nowhere around here where they can go.


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