Downtown Beautification Project Underway
There has been a long history involved with the property located in Downtown Antioch at the northeast corner of Main and Orchard Streets. To create a vision for this newly acquired property, as well as downtown’s streetscapes, open spaces, pedestrian areas, and parking lots, the Village of Antioch initiated a design and planning process branded the Antioch Downtown Beautification Project. The Village Board hired The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based firm specializing in urban design, landscape architecture, planning, community engagement, and historic preservation to conduct the process and develop the plan. The Lakota team will use multiple methods to engage interested community stakeholders about their vision for downtown, including focus group/key person interviews, community workshops, and online surveys. Initial engagement activities will begin in April and occur throughout the course of the project.
Previously owned by the Pittman Family, the 2-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Main and Orchard is currently zoned as “Village Core” and could accommodate commercial, residential, open space or a mixed-use application. The Village recently purchased this parcel in December, 2020, after several attempts and years of negotiation, and now has the ability to control its destiny. The Village acquired the property for $510,000; an amount below the appraised value of the land. “Making this property a community asset, and not a liability, is essential. There are economic development opportunities here, and also parks and naturalistic options. I want to listen to the public’s desires before any decisions are made” said Mayor Lawrence M. Hanson. Mayor Hanson has heard from his Village Board and the public that a renaming of the property is needed, which will also be a component of the community engagement. While there are some concepts and ideas for the future use of that property, it won’t be fully decided until there are adequate public input processes, community and stakeholder buy-in, and ultimately Village Board approval.
Key steps will be for the Lakota team to collect and review data; prepare maps; meet with Village leaders, staff, and stakeholders; conduct land-use and physical conditions analyses; and identify issues and opportunities. This will be followed by the creation of a clear and exciting vision for downtown built on community input that celebrates Antioch’s unique qualities and sets the stage for a vibrant and resilient local economy.
An Antioch Downtown Beautification Project website is currently being constructed and will be available in late March to provide updates.