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updated: 7/17/2012 6:11 PM

Wood Dale moves ahead with downtown vision plan

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  • This intersection of Irving Park Road and Wood Dale Road in Wood Dale will be the site of a downtown vision and community park area hoped to attract people to the area.

       This intersection of Irving Park Road and Wood Dale Road in Wood Dale will be the site of a downtown vision and community park area hoped to attract people to the area.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
By Annalisa Rodriguez
arodriguez@dailyherald.com

Wood Dale officials have asked Uhlir Consulting, LLC to submit proposals for the creation of a downtown focal point and community park before the end of the fiscal year, which ends April 30.

"We need to allocate money into the budget, so we need a report before that time," said John Forrest, director of community development.

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Edward Uhlir's $26,000 contract to create a master plan and vision for the area near Irving Park and Wood Dale roads was approved last month by city council.

City officials hope the Millennium Park architect can create a vision that will attract people to the area and instill a sense of pride in the city's residents.

"What I hope is that we get a plan for the public space and our downtown that is going to be affordable, that is going to be a place where people are going to want to come," Forrest said.

The city and Uhlir's company met last week to discuss who will be the key contacts and stakeholders in the project, and to determine what initial information Uhlir will need, such as maps and previous ideas and concepts.

Prior to the next meeting, Wood Dale will also compile a list of properties along Salt Creek that would need to be considered if Uhlir plans to include that area in his master plan.

Forrest said that after proposals are submitted, the city will need to see what is relevant in the plans and what they can afford.

"This is still early in the process," he said. "These are guys who are visionaries, and what they come back with might be more than we could chew."

The project will develop over time, Forrest said.

"It's not the type of project that's going to be done all at one time," he said. "It will be staged over a couple of years."

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