‘It represents the heart of the village’ Tinley Park cuts ribbon on element of Harmony Square Plaza
Improvements to the village of Tinley Park’s downtown area along North Street have brought the town one step closer to achieving its goal of constructing a plaza commonly dubbed Harmony Square Plaza.
Village officials recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the project.
“It’s been a dream for the village for a while, and it represents the heart of the village,” said Paula Wallrich, planning manager for the village.
North Street improvements make for one of several village projects involving the downtown area. Others include the Boulevard at Central Station, which is a mixed-use development planned for south side of the railroad tracks, and Encore, which is another mixed-use development that would occupy the north side of the railroad tracks.
Wallrich said the Harmony Square Plaza project was conceived as part of the overarching theme of music as the village’s brand, and it would be "a central gathering area that we’ll be programming with over 250 events a year.”
She said the village applied great attention to detail in improving North Street. Work included installation of new permeable paver stones, infrastructure improvements and crosswalks that look like piano keys. The work was funded in part with a $200,000 green infrastructure grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago.
“The colors chosen for the brick and the details of the crosswalk are all part of the branding for the entire plaza,” Wallrich said.
As part of constructing Harmony Square Plaza, the village is looking to work with the Holiday Development Group to extend 67th Street south to meet North Street, which would make for a new street that does not currently exist.
In doing so, the village’s goal is to increase its downtown programming to 250 days a year, officials said.
“We have some really good programming in our downtown already to build off of,” said Donna Framke, marketing director for the village.
Currently, the village uses the Oak Park Avenue Metra Station parking lot to host community events.
“When we have these large events, the proximity to [north street to] where we have them now will allow us to expand to that space,” Framke said. “That’s what North Street will do. North Street can be a convertible street, or a festival street, if you will. … We’re able to close the street and expand all the way into the Metra station lot where we have events right now.”
Improvements to North Street were completed about a month ahead of schedule, officials said. Wallrich said it helps to have that work done.
The village is currently in the process of finalizing the site plan and design for the next phase of the Harmony Square Plaza project, which officials said could be reviewed by the Tinley Park Plan Commission in November.
Wallrich said she anticipates a spring 2020 groundbreaking for the next phase of improvements.