The City of Joliet has historic strengths and community assets that provide a high quality of life for its residents. Located in Will and Kendall Counties, Joliet has historically been an industrial hub in the region, featuring diverse neighborhoods and historic landmarks that are sources of community pride.
Joliet Correctional Center, also known as the Joliet Prison operated for 144 years until it closed its doors in 2002. The Collins Street Task Force has been in operation since 2005, looking to create development alternatives, generate developer interest, and develop land use guidelines for the site. This is a key infill redevelopment site that could be a revitalization catalyst for the area.
Building upon priorities set in the City's quality of life plan in District 4 and 5, CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, in partnership with the Chicago Chapter of the Urban Land Institute Chicago (ULI Chicago), is now helping Joliet city officials draft a redevelopment plan that will guide future growth and focus on implementation. This planning process will explore topics such as future land use; transportation improvements; community facilities; and arts and culture at these sites. Tying the city's plan to priorities established in the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, the new redevelopment plan for the Old Joliet Prison and US Steel site will guide its future growth and drive economic prosperity.
In September, CMAP led two community meetings (one at Forest Park Individual Education School and another at Sator Sanchez Elementary) that gave nearby residents and other members of the public the opportunity to contribute to the redevelopment plan.
Building upon this input, CMAP and the City of Joliet selected ULI Chicago as the technical assistance partner to advance the next phase of the project with a 2-day Technical Assistance Panel (TAP). ULI members with expertise in development, market feasibility, finance, land use and design conducted research, stakeholder interviews, and site analysis to explore practical reuse options for the Old Joliet Prison and long-term development opportunities for the adjacent US Steel site. After the 2-day process, the Panel issued a set of recommendations for viable redevelopment strategies to the City of Joliet, informed by the community's vision and based on market realities and best practices.