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Posted on: July 13, 2022

Uptown South Master Plan

An image of a map of Uptown South.

Project Description:

The Town of Normal wants community members to help envision the future of Uptown South in advance of the construction of the Uptown Connector/Underpass (Link to that project page). The Uptown Connector/Underpass will connect Uptown Normal to the Uptown South area and create greater opportunities for growth and development.

Uptown South, about 8 acres of land in the heart of Normal, is defined as the area bounded by South Linden Street to the east, East Irving Street to the south, the Constitution Trail to the west, and the train tracks to the north. 

Notably, the Uptown South area is not a blank canvas. The area includes two privately owned properties and the building at 100 E. Phoenix which houses the Normal Police Department and the Town of Normal Parks and Recreation department.

The Uptown South master plan process will take these facts into account and suggest phased development accordingly. In addition, the owners of the properties not owned by the Town will be informed throughout the process.

This project began in June 2022 and will continue through early 2023.

Community Impact & Benefits:

Growth and development

Creating a master plan for the Uptown South area ensures the orderly growth and development of the approximately 8 acres south of the railroad tracks. A master plan for this area will account for the traffic circulation relating to the underpass, analyze the suitability of the area for various land uses, and generate a conceptual layout of public rights-of-way and developable parcels.

The Uptown South area offers opportunities for expanded economic success of Uptown Normal, thanks to the more-direct connection between the north and south plazas the Uptown Connector/Underpass will create. This direct connection between the current business district and the 8 acres south of the railroad tracks will make redevelopment in this area more appealing. 

Components of the Master Plan Process:

Public process

  • Steering Committee meetings and interviews with stakeholders
  • Online survey to learn how constituents currently perceive and use the Uptown South study area and what they would like to see change.
  • Workshops which will include:
    1. Asset-Based Community Development exercises,
    2. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis
    3. Image preference survey
    4. Placemaking scenarios
    5. Open house

Market Analysis

A high-level market assessment to understand underlying residential market conditions and inform the residential recommendations for Uptown South.

Transportation Analysis

  • Analysis of vehicle and pedestrian flow. 
  • Recommended improvements related to streetscapes, shared parking, bicycle/pedestrian facilities and circulation through Uptown South.

Sustainability Strategies

Building on the longstanding commitment to sustainability in Uptown Normal, the latest strategies for sustainable development will be introduced.

Milestones and Accomplishments:

September 27, 2022 - The Town of Normal will host an in-person public meeting September 27 on the fourth floor of Uptown Station. The design team will present three alternative land-use scenarios, developed from previous public engagement. Participants can give feedback on preferred scenarios and characteristics. Input will be gathered in a variety of ways including discussion and comments, sticky notes, voting, game activities, etc. This meeting is expected to be 1.5 hours long.

July 28, 2022 - The Town of Normal hosted a public meeting July 28 online via Zoom. The meeting focused on the land-use and design elements of the future Uptown South. The design team sought more detailed input from residents about their preferences for the area following a recent public survey.  

July 11, 2022 - The Town of Normal launched an online survey July 11-17, 2022 asking for community input. This was the first step of the ongoing community engagement process throughout the master plan project. The results of the multiple choice survey questions can be found here.

May 2, 2022 - The Town of Normal Council approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with Farr Associates Architecture & Urban Design to provide services for the Uptown South Master Plan process.

For Additional Information:

To make a comment or to ask a question about the Uptown South master planning process, email Town Planner Mercy Davison or call 309-454-9590

Virtual Community Meeting (Video Recording):

Click here to watch the recorded Community Meeting held over Zoom on Thursday, July 28.

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