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C.P. has big ideas for downtown

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:28 pm
by Big Dog
C.P. has big ideas for downtown

CROWN POINT | The city will unveil preliminary development plans for the downtown this month, including potential property acquisition for a new municipal complex and more accessible parking around the square.

A public workshop set for Nov. 30 is aimed at sharing information the city and LSL Planning Inc. have gathered, and discussing ideas for the downtown's future, said Economic Development Director Frank Mosko. LSL Planning, along with the companies KKG and First Group, is creating a 10-year plan for improving traffic and parking on the square due by the end of the year.

Currently, the city is interested in acquiring property stretching along the west side of East Street from Robinson Court to U.S. 231, Mosko said.

The city's Redevelopment Commission is already in the process of acquiring the Geisen Funeral Home, 109 N. East St., and a two-story house next to City Hall the city uses for its Engineering Department, Economic Development and Special Events offices. The city could sign a purchase agreement for that property, which in 2002 had a reported $1 million asking price, by the end of the year.

The commission also has authorized Mosko to create an inventory of downtown properties that could house police, fire and City Hall staff in the future.

At the meeting, the city also will show a number of possible locations for new public parking around the square, including on North East Street and North Court Street.

Parking counts of municipal parking areas downtown on an average Tuesday and Saturday showed some areas at capacity and others at less than 50 percent full, Mosko said. He cited the library parking lot as being at capacity on those days, and cited the lot at East Street and Hack Court as less than half full.

The data shows the downtown needs more parking that's accessible, close to the square and situated in a way that makes people feel safe using it. The key, Mosko said, is to allow people to maintain visual contact with the courthouse.

Some of the other topics the meeting will touch on include one-way versus two-way traffic, truck routes, pedestrian circulation and design enhancements.

"What we're trying to do is plan for the future, the next 10-year window," he said. "These issues have to be addressed."

A public meeting about plans for the downtown will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 30 in the old courthouse courtroom. A brief presentation will be given at 7 p.m.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:19 am
by Big Dog