Gurnee's elected officials once again are contemplating how best to reinvigorate the village's original section along Old Grand Avenue.
"It's been at least 10 years since we've -- no, more than that -- discussed this," Mayor Kristina Kovarik said at a recent village board session.
Known as village center, the stretch of Old Grand meets busy Route 132 on its east and west sides. Homes, businesses, Viking Middle School and Gurnee Park District headquarters dot the Old Grand corridor.
Gurnee Community Development Director David Ziegler requested village board feedback on four potential options for the future look of Old Grand.
Officials informally agreed it would be best to encourage redevelopment under current zoning regulations and maintain the original part of the town's character, along with addressing fire safety standards for buildings there. Ziegler is expected to return with more details for the board.
Trustee Steve Park said the area is suited for small businesses. He said he can envision it as a place for startup operations without large budgets.
"We want to continue the style and the sense of place of that Old Grand Avenue area, and have it be as lively and active and interesting as we can as a community," Park said.
Old Grand has 28 single-family homes, 17 commercial uses, four duplexes and a cultural use with the Mother Rudd House, according to Ziegler's presentation to the village board. He said the village center businesses and residential district last was addressed in a 1997 comprehensive plan.
Trustee Greg Garner is bullish on Old Grand Avenue's future.
"I've always seen that corridor as a bustling little downtown for us," he said.