Uptown 2.0 | WGLT

Uptown 2.0

Farnsworth Group/Eckenhoff Saunders Architects / Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council at its next meeting may review a proposal for what's being called a "major economic development initiative" in Uptown Normal. 

McLean County Regional Planning Commission

A plan that's "very different" from any comprehensive plan the Town of Normal has adopted before would change, most noticeably, the community's layout, housing and transportation, according to two people instrumental in its development.

Normal Council Okays Underpass Option

Jun 19, 2017
Farr Associates/Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council has approved an underpass option between Uptown and Uptown South. 

Council member Kevin McCarthy said he supports the construction of the underpass. He said he hopes the project will allow a safe way for people to cross the railroad tracks.

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

The Town of Normal Council is expected to sign off on an option for pedestrians and people on bikes to traverse railroad tracks bisecting Uptown.

Staff / WGLT

While the Town of Normal has narrowed choices to connect Uptown Normal with future development south of the railroad tracks, construction of an underpass could still be years out. 

Architect's drawing of a park and railroad tracks south of Uptown Station in Normal.
Drawing courtesy of Ratio Architects

A little more than two years after the town of Normal included a nearly $13 million underpass in its Uptown 2.0 plan based on community feedback,  a consultant hired to look at the feasibility is also recommending a wide underpass and park as the safest and best option for accessibility and economic development.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

The Normal Public Library Board and staff, Town of Normal officials, and citizens providing input are all considering a library that could be one of the most environmentally friendly in the nation.  However, a Normal Town  Council member says it all depends on the cost.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal is providing more detailed guidance to consultants studying a proposed pedestrian railroad crossing at Uptown Station. 

Construction Progress On One Uptown

Jan 20, 2017
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Construction of One Uptown on the circle in Uptown Normal is progressing with workers assembling the steel skeleton. A town official said construction is on schedule. 

The five story building will include Town of Normal offices on the second floor, 21 apartments, and a basement parking garage. A first floor restaurant has yet to be determined. 

The $14 million building could be complete as early as October of 2017. 

 

Staff / WGLT

A Bloomington High School Science Teacher said he believes the Town of Normal is heading down an unsustainable path.

Marc Tiritilli has filed petitions to run for Mayor against incumbent Chris Koos.

WGLT

Bloomington has been on the right track, even when it has been on the wrong track over the last several decades as it has struggled to preserve and revive its downtown.

That's according to Urban Historian Alan Lessoff of Illinois State University. Lessoff is the fall arts and sciences lecturer Thursday evening at the Bone Student Center.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Normal says the City Manager met almost all of his goals last year. And the ones Mark Peterson did not achieve had to do with government mandates getting in the way. Speaking on GLT's Sound Ideas, Mayor Chris Koos said Peterson is at the top of his game.

Underpass Study Will Be A 'Public, Dynamic Process'

Oct 3, 2016
Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council approved an engineering study that will examine the proposed underpass at Uptown Station more closely. The study will cost the town over $1.4 million and take about two years. City Manager Mark Peterson said people will be able to be actively involved in the study.

Two-year Underpass Study Could Move Forward

Oct 2, 2016
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Normal Town Council members will consider a $1.4 million engineering study for the proposed underpass at Uptown Station. Funding for the study was approved as part of the town's budget for this year.

Normal Library Board Evaluating Architects

Aug 30, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Members of the Normal Library Board of Trustees are in the process of choosing an architectural firm for a planned library south of Uptown Circle. During a joint meeting with the Normal Town Council, Engberg Anderson Architects, OPN Architects and HGA presented their qualifications for designing the facility. 

Ralph Weisheit

Mayor of Normal Chris Koos said there are "still a lot of moving pieces" when it comes to determining whether or not a railroad pedestrian underpass will be constructed in the Uptown district.

During Sound Ideas, Koos discussed the $1.5 million feasibility study agreement council members funded at Monday night's regular meeting.

Melissa Schoper / WGLT

Construction on the One Uptown  Circle project in Normal should begin in August. The three story building will house a restaurant on the first floor, office space on the second, and high-end apartments on the top floor.  The Normal Town Council approved nearly $70,000 in design work from Eckenhoff Saunders Architects for its offices which will occupy the second floor.

Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council will vote Tuesday on whether to take the next step in relocating four department offices to a new development in Uptown Normal. Engineering, Inspections, Planning, and Facilities Management are slated to move there in late summer or early fall 2017.

Melissa Schoper

The Normal Town Council approved design revisions to the proposed One Uptown Circle structure Monday night. The new mixed use development will be located next to the Hyatt Place in Uptown Normal. 

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects

A new mixed use development next to Hyatt Place in Normal, called One Uptown Circle, has to receive approval from the Normal Town Council Monday night before the project moves forward. The proposed building design requires the council to waive some of the town’s design codes for the area, but those waivers are considered to be quote “minor” according to a staff report.

Charlie Schlenker

The Town of Normal is pulling back on its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application for a year. The $14 million plus request would have funded a pedestrian underpass below the train tracks in Uptown. Mayor Chris Koos says the town did not want to get in the way of other requests of the TIGER program.

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects

Even though the public price tag to create a new building on Uptown Circle is high, the Mayor of Normal said it's worth it to fill the so-called hole in the ground.

Normal To Vote On Enterprise Zone, Water Rate Hike

Mar 20, 2016
Destihl

The Normal Town Council will consider making some changes to an Enterprise Zone northeast of Normal tonight. Destihl is planning to build a 47,000 square foot brewery at the location and wants to take advantage of the benefits before the zone expires in May.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal is hiring two consultants to help secure federal TIGER funding for a probable underpass beneath the tracks near Uptown Station. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Mayor Chris Koos told Mike McCurdy the Town's eventual application is not in competition with a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant application from the City of Bloomington to fund the Hamilton Road extension project.

Ralph Weisheit

The Town of Normal is hiring two consultants to help with the application process for federal grant funding for a railway pedestrian underpass at Uptown Station.

The Town will spend nearly $100,000 on the consultants.

WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff will work on the 2016 grant application for a feasibility study for an underpass at Uptown Station.  CHG & Associates will provide a year of lobbying services.

Normal plans to build a temporary at grade rail crossing, with a planned underpass to come later.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The Normal Public Library is working with OPN Architects to look at possible designs for a new public library to the south of Uptown Normal. The proposed project area came from Farr Associates as part of the Uptown 2.0 Master Plan, but no plans have been set in stone to build a library at that location

Brad Basham Photography / bbasham.com and Town of Normal

Filling the hole in the ground in Uptown Normal may not be the only upcoming project for that district. During Mayor Chris Koos' regular Sound Ideas interview he told GLT's Mike McCurdy that developers are showing "active" interest in plots other than the property adjacent to the recently completed Hyatt Place Hotel.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The Normal Town Council is supporting a $10 million bond to finish funding the new Fire Department Headquarters next to Illinois State University and pay their portion of the property development next to Hyatt Place. The bond will also be used for additional projects, pending council approval.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal may take the first step tonight in establishing another Tax Increment Financing district. The area would include the Mitsubishi plant, which will close in May, and surrounding businesses that supported the factory.