A Central Business District Plan for Riverside

Jul 26, 2013

A Central Business District Plan for Riverside

On Monday, April 15, the Village of Riverside Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt the Riverside Central Business District Plan.

Established in 1869, the Village of Riverside, including its central business district (CBD), is one of the nation's first planned communities. However, since its inception, the growth and amenities of surrounding communities have changed the role of Riverside's CBD in the contemporary economic environment. Now, building upon the downtown's existing conditions,  its image and historical character, previous planning studies, and new community input, CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is helping Riverside to draft a plan that will guide future improvements and focus on implementation.

The intent of the project is to develop a Central Business District (CBD) plan formulating a vision and identifying development strategies for improving the function and character of the Village's downtown, while building on the Village's image and identity. The plan would comprehensively address issues such as the downtown's role within the regional and local marketplace, land use priorities, pedestrian access, and the community's relationship with its downtown train station.

The process includes three phases. The first phase includes an analysis of existing land uses and community facilities, as well as gathering initial public input regarding the issues and opportunities in the downtown area. The second phase consists of creating a shared vision and identifying specific goals and recommendations to achieve it. The third phase will develop an implementation strategy to put the plan's recommendations into action.

Together, the Village of Riverside, local residents, business owners, property owners, and community stakeholders will explore opportunities in land use planning, image and historical character, residential and commercial development, transportation, parks and open space, and numerous other aspects important to the downtown area's prosperity.

Public Engagement

As part of the downtown Riverside planning process, the Village of Riverside has been collecting resident feedback on the current central business district. The first public meeting to kick off the project and learn more about Downtown Riverside was held on April 11, 2012. Over the summer, residents had an opportunity to share ideas on an interactive website specifically designed for this project. The second public meeting, a visioning workship designed to gather ideas, was held on September 5, 2012. The third public meeting, an open house to gather feedback and comments on the draft plan, was held on March 19, 2013. The intent of the plan is to formulate a vision and identify development strategies for improving the function and character of the village's downtown while building on the village's important historical image and identity.

News Coverage

"Riverside looks to Berwyn for ideas on development: Village commission to host Berwyn Development Corp's Director," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, March 4, 2014.

"Momentum building," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, March 4, 2014. 

"Top 5 news stories of 2013 in Brookfield, Riverside, and Lyons," My Suburban Life, December 30, 2013. 

"A Riverside plan that respects and challenges," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, April 30, 2013.

"Riverside OKs new downtown plan: Up to future boards to implement recommendations, modest or bold," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, April 30, 2013.

"Riverside board adopts CMAP plan for downtown," My Suburban Life, April 23, 2013.

"Sells lays out agenda for new Riverside village board: Focus on river access, central business district," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, March 19, 2013.

"Plan presents new look for downtown Riverside," My Suburban Life, March 27, 2013.

"Seven years later, a gentler approach to developing downtown Riverside," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, March 19, 2013.

"CMAP planning project gets off the ground: Biggest issues: Leverage riverfront, improve view from trains," Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, April 24, 2012.



Peter Scalera, Village Manager (pscalera@riverside.il.us or 708-447-2700)

Trevor Dick, CMAP Senior Planner (tdick@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8606)  

Nora Beck, CMAP Senior Planner (nbeck@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8677)

Follow CMAP's Twitter feed at @GOTO2040 for the latest updates.

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