SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS – With the release of the Springfield SDAT Final Report by the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Communities by Design program, Mayor Mike Houston has announced his appointment of 19 citizens to serve as the City of Springfield's SDAT Action Committee.
"We asked for guidance to repopulate the core of our city. Through the SDAT Final Report some of the leading downtown experts across the nation have just delivered some inspiration and, frankly, highlighted our challenges," said Mayor Houston. "The report shows that a residential renaissance is within our reach. But as it also states, 'downtown revitalization is a process.' The SDAT Action Committee will help monitor and encourage that process to make sure we are all moving forward in the same direction to build the bustling, urban neighborhood we want in our downtown."
The SDAT Final Report provides the details that the team of professional planners and designers promised during their three day visit to the Capital City in May. Delivered in broad strokes at a Public Forum on the last night of the springtime visit, the Report helps outline the areas that citizens must tackle in order to become a residential destination by 2022.
The Mayor’s Committee which consists of local architects and citizens passionate about the uniqueness of downtown is now charged with connecting the dots so that Springfield government, private organizations and individuals can work together in concert. The Committee will work through the final report, in much the same way as the R/UDAT follow-up committee did, section by section.
“The positive energy that was created by the national visit has resulted in a new intensity in downtown discussions, activity and progress,” said Chuck Pell, SDAT Action Committee co-chair. “Downtown Springfield Incorporated is working hard; the Chamber has added a downtown core component in their Q5 initiative for future growth; local developers are making commitments; and in the next few weeks, the public will hear more about new firms locating downtown as well as a major tourism draw for families. The Mayor’s Committee will help leverage all of these activities and pinpoint areas we should prioritize as the momentum continues to build.”
The 98-page Final Report, available at www.sdatspringfield.com, details short-term and long-term tasks that would help attract more residents to the city's inner core, including:
•Finding subsidies to offset the costs of residential development
•Working with a nonprofit to tackle the toughest buildings
•Addressing the city's parking problems once and for all
•Increasing the number of youth and family activities
•Increasing green space including more trees along downtown routes
•Ensuring downtown and the Medical District are built out compatibly
•Organizing the tourist experience through a clear way-finding system so that visitors enjoy more of Springfield's attractions
•Ensuring the design of new buildings is pedestrian-oriented
•Recruiting national, anchor tenant(s) and
•Attracting millennials (born between 1982-1995).
The Mayor appointed the SDAT Steering Committee co-chairs to lead the Action Committee: Chuck Pell, AIA, CJP Architects, and Lisa Clemmons Stott, EdgeWise Consulting. Paul O'Shea of the City's Office of Planning and Development will continue in his role as SDAT advisor.
Committee members named today include:
J. Richard Alsop III, AIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol
Cindy Davis, LEED AP, Resource One
Bruce Ferry, AIA, Ferry and Associates Architects
Michelle Higginbotham, Enos Park Development, LLC
Michael Higgins, Maldaner’s Restaurant
Willis “Bill” Logan, City of Springfield
Vicki Megginson, Retired Associate Chancellor for Development, UIS
Steve Myers, Myers Commercial Real Estate, Inc.
T. David Parker, AIA, Melotte, Morse, Leonatti and Parker, Ltd.
Larry Quenette, AIA, Renaissance Architects
Mike Rapps, Rapps Engineering & Applied Science
Diane Reinhart, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Victoria Ringer, Downtown Springfield, Inc.
John Shafer, AIA, LEED AP, John Shafer and Associates, Inc.
Todd Smith, Garrison Group, Inc.
The first SDAT Action Committee meeting is set for December 7, when members will begin prioritizing the action steps and classifying ongoing work by potential partners. To find out how you can get involved, either visit www.SDATSpringfield.com, or follow www.facebook.com/Springfield SDAT on Facebook.
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