A Commercial Corridor Plan for Waukegan
UPDATE: View the final plan!
Established in 1859, the City of Waukegan is a well-established and mature community with a rich history. Building on its community assets, CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is now helping Waukegan plan for its commercial corridor along Washington Street, from Glen Rock Avenue on the east to McAree Road on the west, a main gateway into the City and home to many locally-owned businesses and civic institutions.
Using an interactive, community-based process, CMAP is working with local residents, business owners, community stakeholders, and the City of Waukegan to explore different strategies to revitalize the Washington Street corridor. The primary objective is to build upon existing assets, however small, and identify opportunities for economic development that are grounded in the real world and correspond with the needs of the people who live, work, and do business in the area.
Once complete, the Washington Street corridor plan will issue a set of recommendations identifying viable strategies that can be pursued by both the City and businesses along Washington Street to help the corridor become a more economically dynamic and successful area.
The planning process included three phases. The first phase involved a thorough analysis of the existing conditions within the study area using information gathered through one-on-one stakeholder interviews, steering committee meetings, focus group workshops, review of previous studies, and collection of maps and data. Phase two focused on creating strategies for Washington Street's commercial corridor plan based on findings from the phase one analysis and public workshops. The final phase combined efforts from previous phases to create the commercial corridor plan document containing policies, programs, and action steps intended to help the community achieve the future vision.
Several opportunities were provided for the public to actively participate in the planning process. The City of Waukegan and CMAP conducted a series of outreach meetings with City leadership, business representatives, and the community to solicit and incorporate local input to the planning process. On December 13, 2012, CMAP held a focus group with senior residents of Lilac Ledge Apartments, located on Washington Street at the eastern end of the planning study area. A business focus group workshop with business members of the study area, and two community focus groups were held on January 22 and 24, 2013. At a Public Visioning Workshop held on June 20, 2013, business owners, residents, and other members of the community discussed the main findings of the public engagement process thus far, along with potential strategies and community priorities for the commercial corridor plan.
Washington Street Corridor upgrade planned in Waukegan, Lake County News-Sun, January 17, 2013.
The planning process to create the Washington Street Commercial Corridor Plan lasted approximately two years and included multiple steps. The process was crafted with assistance from City staff and was designed to include resident and business owner input throughout.
- Project initiation (November - December, 2012)
- Existing conditions evaluation (January - June, 2013)
- Draft commercial corridor plan (July, 2013 - June, 2014)
- Plan completion and adoption (July, 2014 - January, 2015)
Stephen Ostrander, CMAP Senior Planner (SOstrander@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8696)
Ricardo Lopez, CMAP Outreach & Community Engagement Associate (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8766)
For more on the project and upcoming events, follow CMAP's Twitter feed at @GOTO2040 for the latest updates.