Residents, commuters brace for construction at Glen Town Center
After months of discussion and planning, roadwork and streetscape improvements will soon get underway at the Glen Town Center in Glenview.
The Village gave an update on the construction effort during an Open House on Monday, March 14 where a presentation followed by question-and-answer session were held for area residents and business owners.
The project—spanning from Tower Drive, Navy Boulevard, Valor Drive, Sable Drive, Wolverine Drive and Aviator Lane—will affect four main developers and their properties, including Von Maur, Oliver McMillan, and the Tabani Group, as well as Village staff on behalf of the Village.
Of the proposed upgrades to the Glen Town Center include new curbing, tree replacements and sidewalk widening, among other items.
Once the effort gets underway, the Village expects that a bulk of the improvements will be finished by late-summer with other minor changes seeing completion during the fall.
The Glen Town Center last saw construction when it was originally built approximately 13 years ago.
Jeff Brady, planning director for the Village, said the streetscape effort makes sense for the community on a wide-sweeping level.
“When (the Glen Town Center) was originally designed, it was a very high end design and very maintenance intensive,” he said. “What is happening and I think a lot of the business have seen this, there have been trip and fall issues that may be occurring.
“Instead of scoring the concrete, it was saw cut so these pieces of concrete are floating and they’ll be blocking the access to doors at random points. One day, you exit your business and the next day you came in and you can’t open your door (to leave).”
Many other problems have surfaced as well, including those related to drainage, dying of trees and electrical issues.
The end goal of the project, Brady added, is to “keep up with enhanced aesthetic nature of the Town Center” in a manner that will prevent the Village from having so many maintenance issues.
Officials reached out to the community in a number of ways throughout the process, launching a project website, forming email lists and hosting Open Houses, and Brady said the Village sought and managed to receive adequate community input throughout the process, helping them to incorporate their ideas and views into the planning of the project.
“It’s always a challenge with people’s busy schedules and what have you,” he said. “(At) the first (Open House), there was a decent attendance. Our second one, there was not. This was the best attended (Open House) by far. We not only sent out mailers to everyone, we sent out emails to everyone, and we even had staff walk the Town Center and personally make sure that all of the tenants knew that we were having this meeting and knew the pending construction schedule.”
Margaret Ludemann, of Glenview, was one of many who sat in attendance for the open house. She said she will be thrilled once the construction is completed, but she also realizes it may cause some irritation at first.
“It will raise property values,” he said. “It was looking a little tired out there and as (Brady) said, there needed to be some uplifting. I think this is going to be amazing. I am sure it will be an inconvenience, but I think the end is going to be very positive.”
As a real estate professional, Ludemann said she doesn’t see increased challenge in getting people to move to Glenview as a result of the streetscape improvements.
“I used to live downtown in the city and the way I advertise it here is urban living in the suburbs,” she said. “That’s my line that I use. If you want to imagine living in the city but you want all the benefits of living in the suburbs, this is it. That’s a very easy sell. A lot of people come from the city—young families and that kind of thing. This offers everything.”
Loly Farnos, of Glenview, was also there for the presentation on the streetscape improvement project. She said she has been a resident in the area the last five years.
“It’ll make the transit of pedestrians a lot more efficient, particularly in the summertime,” she said. “It’s a beautiful Town Center. We walk everywhere so this is a good opportunity to have fewer collisions with people riding their bicycles or walking their kids. It’ll give more space.”
Farnos said she doesn’t see all that many negatives to the streetscape improvements that will be soon getting underway.
“Long run, no,” she said. “Short-term, just a little bit of pain. Noise, dust, things that happen when you have construction, but I think overall it will be good.”
The cost for the construction will be allotted through the use of a tax increment financing district, an economic development tool encouraging growth and value.
Village trustees voted on Tuesday, March 1, during their regular meeting, approving a contract award, valued at about $3 million, to Landmark Construction. Voting also allows for the execution of the public right-of-way dedication plat, as well as streetscape management agreement between developers and a signage agreement.
Brady said the Village aims to put forth effort to mitigate disturbances to the community by staging the construction project in phases, lasting generally about 2-3 weeks, and accommodating outdoor dining.
He added that the overall goal is to limit the impact of the streetscape project on residents and business owner by keeping lines of communication open.
To learn more, visit the project blog at glentowncenterstreetscape.blogspot.com
For inquiries, questions or comments, email the Village staff at firstname.lastname@example.org