District 3 Blog
Recap of 1st Grandview Town Center Meeting and more exciting news
Hi neighbors, what a week!
As you may read in the paper, we have begun our discussion of the Grandview Town Center Development. Last week a good number of neighbors braved the heat and humidity to talk with DSI and associates who will be handling the proposed development. Read on for a synopsis of the meeting:
- DSI is proposing 5 1-2 story commercial buildings in the space bounded by the Metro Market area, the Great Dane, Cottage Grove Road, and Sharpsburg Avenue.
- The shops in these buildings will, due to the rental cost per square foot, likely be upscale established brands, with an emphasis on local/regional businesses, such as Barrique's (Barrique's has not signed a lease by any means, I'm just using it as an example).
- Ideas for possible types of tenants include a restaurant, a coffee shop, a specialty pet shop, a day spa, and others.
- Construction would begin late this fall, with projected finish/openings next year between early and late summer.
- DSI has done a study on the iconic Burr Oak which sits on the property and shared that it is around 280 years old, which is to say older than the United States, and that it could live for around another century. DSI is strongly in favor of leaving this tree healthy and intact, as is your very own alder as you might imagine.
- Also in regards to trees and landscaping, more than one of our neighbors shared concern that this development, while welcome, could create noise issues, and asked DSI to add more trees and greenery into the project design, both to beautify and to help block noise.
- Speaking of neighbors quite near the property, DSI is working with the city's traffic engineering to be sure that pedestrians and cyclists know they are safe coming and going from the town center area. The walkability of this neighborhood is paramount, and the traffic engineering department has several ideas for keeping cars moving slowly and carefully into and through this area.
All in all it was a lively and well-informed discussion. While I know this neighborhood is no stranger to commercial development, I was still somewhat awed by the level of knowledge and preparedness that our neighbors brought to this first meeting. You will probably think me a democracy nerd, but I am truly proud and humbled to represent such engaged citizens.
DSI begins the approval process for this development immediately. You savvy folks know that this is just that, a process, and we will need continued engagement from our neighbors in order to make sure this process yields the very best things for our neighborhood and community. I am compiling the sketches and other details of the proposal from DSI and will include those with the next blog post so you can all better visualize that about which we are talking.
I truly hope you will all stay informed and in touch-not just you in the Grandview area, but everyone in the district. This development could be a jewel for the far east side and everyone in the district deserves a voice about it. If you see the sketches and don't like the placement of something, the color of something, the height of something else, I want to know about it. I can be the best advocate for you when I know your thoughts, and I look forward to working with all of you in this process.
When it rains, it pours-hopefully
And just in case those of you in Rolling Meadows or Heritage Heights were getting jealous of all the attention Grandview is getting, I have recently been approached by a company looking to, drumroll please, purchase and redevelop the old Sentry lot. Hooray, we have a nibble on the line! Fingers crossed this works out! It's still confidential which company it is (sorry to leave you in suspense!) but look for a neighborhood presentation and information session in mid to late August.
So that's two potential developments simultaneously here in our great district. Apparently everyone is realizing what we've known all along-the east side is a great place to live, work, shop, play and be!
One more little tidbit...
Why doesn't Amanda say much on Nextdoor?
I know you're laying awake nights wondering about this--
Only kidding, but it bears mentioning because it involves a city policy designed to guarantee transparency in decision-making and I want to share the reasoning.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, nextdoor.com is a website geared toward enhancing communication between and among neighbors. Many neighborhood groups find it very useful. As one or more of these development projects potentially moves forward, there will no doubt be a great deal of discussion about them on nextdoor.
While the website is one way to discuss neighborhood topics, you won't see me engage in discussion or reply to posts there because it is not a public forum (in the legal sense of the term). I use it for announcements and reminders, but there needs to always be a publicly available record of any discussion I have on topics on which I vote as your alder. You can always contact me through nextdoor about the dining room set you're selling or what have you, but I won't be able to talk with you about developments or dog parks. Please contact me at email@example.com with any policy-related questions.
Thanks for reading and staying in touch, have a great weekend!
Amanda M-M Hall
Alder, District 3
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