Village official: Guide in place for downtown revitalization

By on March 19, 2010

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by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Planning Commissioner Susan Filek wants revitalizing the historic business district in Elburn to be a priority for village officials.

“We have just a great little downtown,” Filek said. “We need to think about what we can easily do to make businesses want to locate there.”

Filek recently compiled a condensed version of a document prepared with community involvement in 2002, “The Old Town Elburn Business District Development Plan,” and presented it to the Planning Commission Monday.

Planning Commissioners discussed the need for the village to establish more downtown parking with pedestrian walkways.

“I think that is where the village could focus more,” Filek said.

Adding areas of green space downtown could help sell the area to more retailers, Planning Commissioner Pat Schuberg said.

The commissioners acknowledged the obstacle of the current economy to downtown improvement, although they are encouraged by the success of recently opened businesses, including Schmidt’s Towne Tap.

Filek believes the eight-year-old document still will be a good guide when the economy improves.

“These principles are still very valid,” Filek said.

Principles for downtown vitality that are outlined in the plan include encouraging similar businesses to locate there so that people can comparison shop; making the old downtown district accessible to increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic; and promoting higher rents to make it uneconomical for offices to occupy prime, ground-floor space.