News Share from the City of Joliet Summer 2018 Newsletter:
Exciting things are happening in downtown Joliet. Be sure to come down to the Farmer’s Market or one of the many street festivals or just come on down to one of the over 20 restaurants. From fine and casual dining to two local brew pubs, we have it all. A list of all of the summer events in downtown Joliet can be found at the back of this newsletter.
Chicago Street Corridor Plan
The planning and design process for a revamped Chicago Street in downtown Joliet is underway. Chicago Street is one of the region’s most beautiful historic streets and is on the original alignment of the World-famous US Route 66. Although the uses along the street have changed over the years, this classic street has never lost its beautiful urban scale. The current streetscape is approximately four decades old and is in need of an update to accommodate current and future businesses and residents.
The Chicago Street Corridor Plan includes two major components, a re-design of the streetscape from Ruby Street to Washington Street, and a new square across from the Rialto Square Theatre. The Chicago Street Corridor Plan is partly funded by a Local Technical Assistance Grant which was awarded to the City by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The City selected Ginkgo Planning & Design, Inc. to be the project consultant.
Over the past year, City staff has worked with the project consultant to refine the conceptual design ideas generated from feedback received from the Advisory Committee, City administration, and City staff. In April, a public forum was held at the Joliet Area Historical Museum to provide an opportunity for the public to view and offer feedback on the conceptual design plans.
In May, the City finalized the Plan, which provides direction for the conceptual design of the streetscape and square. The next step, the design development phase, will provide detailed specifications and costs, for a phased approach to actual construction.
The streetscape concept calls for realignment and straightening of the street, additional on-street parking spaces, landscape planters, space for outdoor dining, updated lighting, new directional signage and gateway public art at key intersections. Key elements of the design for the square include a large green space, flexible stage/raised seating platform, “red carpet” pavement connecting the square to the Rialto Square Theatre, a library garden, which includes a storyteller’s corner, a water feature, unique lighting, seating nooks, and space for future large–scale public art.
Joliet Gateway Transportation Center
The Joliet Gateway Transportation Center opened its doors to the public on April 11. The new facility, located in at 90 E. Jefferson St. in downtown Joliet, is a major regional transit hub.
The 10,000 square foot two-story train station building has Metra and Amtrak ticket offices, indoor waiting areas on both the first and second floor, elevator and stair access to the new Metra Rock Island platform and the new Heritage Corridor platform.
The Joliet Gateway Transportation Center is a key part of the revitalization of downtown Joliet. The new station facilities provide a first-class transit amenity for the travelling public. Joliet will also be a stop along the new Chicago to St. Louis high speed rail corridor, which is expected to provide more convenience and additional train service for regional travelers.
Will County Justice Center
The new Will County Justice Center broke ground in December 2017. The 10-story building is being constructed on the site of the former First Midwest Bank building at the corner of Jefferson and Ottawa Streets in downtown Joliet.
The 365,000 square foot facility will have improved security, 38 courtrooms, ancillary office space, green roof, cafeteria, and a pedestrian plaza at the southwest corner of Jefferson and Ottawa Streets. This project is anticipated to be completed in 2020.
Downtown Residential – Barber Building
Local developer, Mike Petry, is rehabilitating the Barber Building located at 66-74 and 7 N. Chicago Street to include first floor commercial tenant spaces and apartments on the upper four floors. “It’s Amazing”, a women’s apparel shop, has recently opened in one of the commercial spaces.