Mundelein explores options for downtown district
Mundelein officials and municipal planners publicly unveiled three possible plans for the village's downtown district during an open house Tuesday night.
The plans included familiar landmarks -- village hall, the police station and Mundelein's Metra station -- and a variety of hypothetical elements such as parks, a parking garage, a proposed performing arts center, new retail and residential buildings, and public plazas.
About 50 people attended the session at village hall. It was led by representatives from Farr Associates, the Chicago firm the village board hired earlier this year to design a development plan for the downtown area.
The plans were depicted on aerial maps and in architectural drawings that were displayed for the public on easels in the boardroom.
The arts center drew particular attention from the attendees and from Doug Farr, president of the Farr Associates planning firm.
"If this is successful, it could be an anchor in the downtown," Farr said.
Attendees were able to walk from map to map and check out the differences between them.
For example, a plan labeled "Market Park" envisioned a performing art center on Chicago Avenue north of Park Street, a public parking garage on Morris Avenue north of Park Street and a dog park on Morris north of Hawley Street.
But a plan called "Downtown Triangle" put the arts center on Seymour Avenue south of Park Street and the garage on Seymour north of Hawley. The dog park was in the same spot as the other plan.
A third option, labeled "Village Grove," placed the performing arts center south of village hall on Plaza Circle and didn't include a dog park or public garage.
"The pieces move around in key ways," Farr said.
The firm's goal for the night was to gather public feedback on the three plans. After a presentation from Farr's staff, people asked questions about a proposed pedestrian overpass over the railroad, the impact on the Park on Park car show and other issues.
Audience members also were asked to vote on their favorite options. The results won't be binding but could help shape the final recommendation.
"As smart as everybody thinks they are, you always miss something," Farr said.
The maps and architectural drawing will be added to the village's website, mundelein.org.