Performance pavilion, artificial turf among new ideas for Metropolitan Square Plaza in Des Plaines

  • Des Plaines officials are hoping to reinvigorate the downtown area's Metropolitan Square Plaza, shown earlier this year.

      Des Plaines officials are hoping to reinvigorate the downtown area's Metropolitan Square Plaza, shown earlier this year. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, January 2022

 
 
Posted5/3/2022 5:30 AM

A pavilion or pergola for live performances and a lawn topped with artificial turf that would serve as a seating area are among the new elements included in revised plans for Metropolitan Square Plaza in downtown Des Plaines.

Other additions to the proposal include an interactive water feature, overhead festival lighting, tables and seats for outdoor dining and shade structures.

 

The updated plan is available for public review at bit.ly/3F6SsEU, as part of the packet for Monday night's city council meeting.

Architectural consultants with the Lakota Group were supposed to discuss the changes during the meeting, but the presentation was postponed until June 6 because several aldermen were absent.

Set about a block north of Miner Street, Metropolitan Square opened in 2006 and contains commercial and condominium buildings, a public parking garage and a public plaza. Many of its storefronts are vacant, though, and it's never really caught on as a community gathering place.

In 2015, the Lakota Group developed improvement plans for the complex, including changing traffic patterns, adding play features for children and installing outdoor seating. None of its recommendations were implemented, though, and the project was shelved.

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Mayor Andrew Goczkowski, who was elected last year, revived the discussion, and it's gained support on the council.

The latest revisions were based on suggestions from city officials following a public discussion in February.

Including roadwork and streetscape improvements on Metropolitan Way, the project could cost $4.7 million to $4.9 million, documents indicate. A $6 million estimate was floated in earlier discussions.

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