Morton Grove ready to show off its industrious side
For years the village of Morton Grove has concentrated on improving its residential and commercial areas, and now is examining how to better use its industrial areas. | Cathryn Gran~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 27, 2012 8:22AM
New uses for old buildings is the plan for Morton Grove’s industrial areas.
Providing some technical expertise will be the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, which coordinates land use and transportation planning in Northern Illinois.
Funding for CMAP’s services will come from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and not local tax dollars, officials noted.
John Said, director of economic development for the village, explained that for years the village has concentrated on residential and commercial areas.
“Now it’s time to look at industrial areas,” he said. “The industrial landscape has changed over time.”
The village has two industrial districts, one at the north end centered on the Avon plant, at Golf and Waukegan roads, and another at the south end near Oakton Street and Lehigh Avenue.
Nicole Woods, an associate planner with CMAP, said her agency’s duties would be to build off of the village’s existing plans, and analyze and examine the industrial areas in relation to other adjacent properties.
She said public outreach to businesses and residents, as well as website tools, ultimately would guide any plans for future industrial growth.
The 10- to 12-month process will examine existing conditions as related to transportation and access; consider in what direction the various components of the village would like industry move; and then implement those ideas that are feasible.
The first public hearing could be as soon as mid-May.
Among topics under consideration are the industrial-vacancy rates and building conditions as compared with surrounding areas; the isolation of the Avon industrial district; and the benefits of locating in Morton Grove, which include accessibility to expressways, public transportation and rail service.
Also on the table will be the examination of existing industrial structures that do not meet the needs of clients who want bigger buildings with higher ceilings.
Examples of new businesses the village may wish to woo to the north district are a movie-theater complex, a sports complex and a grocery store.
On the south side suggestions include catering to those companies that provide business-to-business services; to those providing technological services; and to making the area more environmentally friendly by making use of such advances in paving materials as pervious surfaces that allow rain runoff to seep into the ground as opposed to barriers like asphalt or concrete.