Edgeville Buzz


New Andersonville Gathering Space In Development Stage After State Funding Secured

A new gathering space is planned for the Andersonville area with funds currently allocated to it within the State of Illinois budget. With several ideas already floated for the project that range from large to small, residents voices will be included in the process at the beginning of the new year.

With the need to offer a community space where the neighborhood could gather for multiple events, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce has been searching for the ideal spot. Over 10 years ago the intersection of Clark and Catalpa was looked into as a potential site but the project never found its wings.

After years of Andersonville’s business community seeking to begin the project in order to help boost the northern part of the strip, money was finally allocated to the community to help fund such a plan. Kick-off meetings hosted by Alderman Osterman, Alderman Vasquez, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce have already taken place with community leaders since summer. Those meetings included items such as vision, funding and a brainstorming session.

“We have long been interested in improving the Clark and Catalpa area as a gateway to the north end of Andersonville,” said Sara Dinges who is the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s Director. “That would ensure that our whole 1.2 mile district stays in tact for its walkability and friendliness to pedestrians. There has been a long history of the local business community being engaged in improving that area and its future. With funding recently being earmarked by the State for the creation of a public space in Andersonville, it brought us back to the table of looking at Clark and Catalpa.”

The street space is located on Catalpa between Clark and Ashland and could also include a portion of the Walgreens parking lot to its south and the Jewel parking lot to the north. Because it is in the initial stages of development there has been no definitive plans. However, many ideas have been talked about including a park and a village market place that would include a building with a covered outdoor space.

Though Clark and Catalpa is a strong candidate for the gathering space, that location is not set in stone. Plans are to bring in the community’s voice into the decision process starting in the new year with a series of meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and the Aldermen.

“We want to continue to make Andersonville a destination, for today and for many years to come.” Dinges added. “If it is a public space how would that function, where should it be located and how will it benefit the brick and mortar businesses in the neighborhood? Those are the types of questions we are most interested in and we want to hear from all of the community.”

 

 


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