Bess Revitalization 01.21.2020

Downtown Revitalization – Design Issues Applicable to the Bess Site

Friends of Downtown (FDG) is dedicated to creating a lively Downtown – and effective redevelopment of the Bess site is key to this mission. Many issues have been raised, but FDG has remained consistent in supporting activation of this streetscape and attractive landscape design. For the proposed project to serve the entire community, increased “setback” of the building from the roadway is now a critical factor.

Streetscape Activation Related to Building Line

The Midtown Square project demonstrates the prevailing Village standards. The current “setback” is approx. 15’ but it feels wider because of the diagonal parking. The west end 32’ wide plaza for the Glenview Grind shows how the open area encourages pedestrian activity. This should be weighed for the site plan and adjusted to allow active use of this new area for events. 

Landscaping – “Greening” Possibilities

Glenview regulations allow for removal of mature trees in new development.  The proposed plans include removal of all existing parkway trees, matured from earlier public “streetscape” plantings.  The replacement trees would be substantially smaller and given the space constraint would never grow to be as large.

Adjusting the site plan would allow for adequate landscaping space.  Trees should be selected, placed and planted to complement the height of the building. 

Downtown revitalization is a primary goal for FDG.  Design details will make a difference in the success of the project for years to come.  Now is the time to consider these essential aspects.