FDG is focused on revitalizing our traditional “main street,” creating a lively Downtown that we can be proud of.
We support existing businesses and institutions as well as encourage new growth. We work closely with merchants and organizations to actively promote Downtown happenings. And we help shape design improvements to make Downtown more attractive.
The first organized group meetings began in late 2017, when a Steering Committee of dedicated residents was formed. We’ve grown rapidly since.
Essentially, Downtown is defined by Glenview Road from the Library on the West to Waukegan road on East, and Waukegan Road, from Kraft-Heinz on the South to Lake Avenue on the North edge.
FDG Founder John Hedrick is an attorney and planning consultant who has a background in local government and business, and urban design from working with other successful suburban downtowns. He recruited other experienced professionals with expertise in community building, design, marketing, technology, events, civic institutions and more. All are highly motivated volunteers. And we are always looking for more.
We have helped support the openings and expansion of several new Downtown businesses, including Forza Meats, Ten Ninety Brewery and Misericordia Sweet Shoppe. We also hosted Mingle Before Music, a community event to kick off the summer concert season. And, we eagerly lend a hand at several merchant-sponsored community events.
We have no formal “membership” at this point; rather we’re a dedicated core group of volunteers who lend their time and talents on an ongoing basis plus other volunteers who contribute on a project basis. Many of our Downtown merchants also actively participate. Plus, we have almost 2K followers on FB/Instagram (and have reached 70K for some posts) and more than 800+ have subscribed to our newsletter.
So far FDG has been self-funded by its leaders through personal donations of needed skills and financial contributions. Moving forward, we are planning to finance further expansion for particular projects and events through more active fund raising.
FDG is foremost an educational organization to demonstrate the value of community improvements and “placemaking.” In that sense, we are also an advocacy group for related improvements. But we are not a political or lobbying organization.
We are considered a charitable organization in that we are dedicating our efforts to public and civic purposes. FDG is incorporated as a separate 501(c)3 entity.
Collaboration With Other Entities
By collaboration, communication, and coordination. Early on we reached out to establish relationships with each of these major influencers, especially the Village, Park District, Library, History Center and OLPH, which occupies a major stretch of Downtown. Our Team liaisons maintain ongoing contact to ensure we are on top of new developments and can help shape outcomes in the best interest of Downtown.
Our Business Team is made up of local business proprietors. It works directly with Downtown merchants to build positive relationships. It also partners with the Glenview Chamber of Commerce on Downtown-focused projects. In addition, we actively promote merchant-sponsored happenings through social media, our newsletter and our website.
No. We’ve made a conscious effort to remain apolitical while working constructively with Village boards and commissions.
Most successful towns have a Downtown organization solely focused on the core business district. The Village and Chamber are committed to the overall health of our very large Glenview community, while FDG zeros in on the specific needs of Downtown.
That is definitely not our intent. Many towns have multiple shopping districts that successfully coexist. While The Glen is primarily populated by larger chain businesses, Downtown is home to smaller independent merchants and restaurants. It also has a unique charm and identity, which FDG works to maintain and improve.