MacArthur Boulevard is one of the most important commercial corridors in the Springfield metropolitan region and is today home to a diverse set of businesses, institutions and industries. To maintain and enhance its vitality and character, as well as unlock the Boulevard's potential to serve the needs of the region, the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with a 32-member Steering Committee representing various stakeholders and organizations, is embarking on the Boulevard's first Redevelopment Plan and Study. The overall purpose of the Redevelopment Plan and Study is to develop a compelling vision for the Boulevard's future in terms of its land use mix, development potential, urban design environment and the businesses and industries that should be maintained and attracted to the Boulevard to meet local and regional market demand. The Plan should also outline opportunities for various stakeholders to participate in its implementation.
To develop that compelling vision and achievable strategies, the Lakota Team proposes the following approach:
- Create a clear, documented and shared vision of the future that "sets the stage" for funding strategies, capital improvement programming, new development, and retention/attraction of area businesses.
- Develop an optimal short and long-range land use strategy and development framework for MacArthur Boulevard. A range of alternative land use mixes and development concepts that enhance and revitalize adjoining businesses and blocks within the MacArthur Boulevard Study Area will be explored during this process.
- Assess transportation planning and traffic management issues as it relates to possible redevelopment and revitalization activities along MacArthur Boulevard. The ultimate goal is to balance pedestrian and vehicular as well as make MacArthur Boulevard more efficient.
- Analyze market trends to understand demand for possible redevelopment and business retention initiatives. In other words, market analysis information will also be used to help existing businesses benefit from the new development, rather than be displaced by it.
- Establish a framework for future changes to zoning and land use regulations that emphasize high quality, sustainable site and building design. A set of planning, urban design tools and code that allows private sector creativity while enhancing design predictability for the surrounding neighborhoods will be developed. Ultimately, urban design strategies will seek to knit the corridor together as a unified whole and as an attractive gateway into central Springfield.
- Identify sensitive areas of MacArthur Boulevard that should be maintained due to their character, scale and contribution to the immediate neighborhood and environment.
- Develop a detailed plan and matrix the outlines in detail the initiation and completion of specific implementation action strategies and steps. The implementation matrix should specify which agencies and organizations are responsible for certain plan implementation activities. In addition, financing tools and mechanisms for implementation of the Plan will be indentified.
- The Lakota Team will work closely with the Project Steering Committee, the SSCRPC, local stakeholder groups, the respective municipal governing bodies and plan commissions to garner effective community input, including an area/site tour(s), participatory visioning workshops, electronic surveys, project review meetings, and presentations.