Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Urban Land Institute of Chicago, in conjunction with the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, have recognized the Village of Park Forest with the 2008 Community Vision – Suburban Award.
The award recognizes projects and communities, in both Urban and Suburban categories, that demonstrate excellence in five key areas: location; density, design and diversity of uses; transportation/mobility/accessibility; environment; and community assets.
Park Forest’s successful transformation of the Park Forest Plaza to a traditional downtown prompted the nomination.
The Urban Land Institute cited "the transformation of the Park Forest Plaza to a new, revitalized business district," noting that DownTown Park Forest is "full of examples of innovation and creativity in public/private partnerships."
The once struggling shopping center was purchased in 1995 by the Village and has now become an important asset to the quality of life in the community.
DownTown Park Forest currently serves as a gathering place for public events such as Main Street Nights, an annual outdoor summer concert series, and the Village’s Farmers Market and Scenic 5 and More road race. In addition to the diverse business offerings that include a dry cleaners, beauty salon, barber shop, podiatrist, dance studio, movie theater and art gallery, DownTown Park Forest is also home to 250 households and the municipality’s Village Hall. This transformation was accomplished with a number of private sector partners who have redeveloped portions of the former Plaza to create a broad mix of land uses.
Village officials of the southern suburb were formally honored at a reception in Chicago on October 15th.