Saturday, April 02, 2005

First Crane of the Season Spotted

It was a nice day for a walk so I took some photos as I ran my errands.

This will beome a familiar site for several years as the construction cranes dot the downtown Elgin skyline. The first one is at the site of the Fulton Street parking deck. Next up is the Fountain Square development on the NBD site and The River Park Place condo on the Crocker site.

A view from the bend in Riverside Drive towards the River Park Place townhomes. The Phase I Festival Park improvements are shown in the foreground.

I ran into David Vargas at the Rancho Vargas sidewalk sale. We discussed the new developments along South Grove. The staff at Al’s CafĂ© was out getting some air and enjoying the sunshine before the lunch crowd came in.

A stop at Simple yeilded an impluse buy and friendly conversation.

I ended the journey at the Centre to take in the Home Expo. Octavio at the DNA info booth.

Two Additions to Illinois Main Street

Main Street Momence and the Downtown Bloomington Association were officially designated as Illinois Main Street Communities. We welcome you to the family. The March edition of the "The Word on the Street" has all the details.

City of Elgin, 2004 Year in Review

The city has published the 2004 Year in Review report. Check out the River as a Resource and Alive Downtown sections.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Cloning extended to cities

The next step in cloning has taken place. Researchers have taken Elgin, Illinois and cloned it in Texas. This link proves it.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Spring Street Closed

Yesterday a garbage truck knocked down a utility pole behind the police station knocking out power in the surrounding area.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Entryway Meeting

Thirty some residents of Elgin, consultants and city staff gathered on Tuesday, March 29th to discuss options for improving our entryways. After intros we viewed videos of the drive from I90 down routes 25 and 31 to Chicago Street. The presenters pointed out areas where improvements could be made. A survey followed with our input on some 25 photos of streetscapes, buildings and medians. We wrapped up by sharing our views in four small groups. The Downtown Neighborhood Association was well represented by Eric Pepa, David Segel, Tom Armstrong, Victor Gonzales, Norma Miess and Steve Munson. The next meeting will present designs based on our input.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Last Chance for Upstairs Downtown Workshop in Rock Island

Just a reminder that the deadline for registering for the UPSTAIRS DOWNTOWN workshop is approaching fast! That's right March 30th is the deadline, less than one week away!! You can print registrations from the link below, they need to be mailed with payment to Renaissance Rock Island.

Remember Rock Island knows how to have a good time! Join us on April 7 and 8 in Rock Island for a 2-day workshop on the adaptive reuse of upper floors in downtown commercial buildings. For more information on UPSTAIRS DOWNTOWN, visit

March Out to Lunch at Akina's

Please join us at our March Out to Lunch as we celebrate Akina’s Thai Restaurant's second anniversary on Monday, March 28th at 12 noon. Akina’s is located at 23 S. Grove Avenue, Downtown Elgin. Enjoy their special lunch buffet for $7.50 (soft drink included). This special will be available until Friday, April 1st.

Denise, We'll Miss You

Denise Momodu has decided to explore new horizons and left her position as DNA’s Coordinator of Operations on March 25th. She will be pursuing a Masters degree at the University of Illinois.

Norma Miess, Executive Director has referred to Denise as her “Right Hand” for all her dedication and loyalty to DNA since she came aboard in the summer of 2002. Her sincere caring and valuable support has also earned the appreciation of many volunteers and businesses throughout Downtown.

We hope we can continue to see her enthusiasm and support as she is offering to volunteer for DNA’s Carnivals and other events. But she will definitely be missed as a part of the DNA staff. We thank Denise for her hard work and wish her all the best the future has to offer!

Please read the excellent article written by Lenore T. Adkins and published in the Daily Herald on Sunday.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Downtown Elgin Scores Big in the Local Press

Downtown was featured in several articles in both local newspapers this weekend.

Here are the box scores.
A triple for Akina's, Simple and Fountain Square on the River with three mentions.
A double for River Park Place with two mentions.
Singles for Al’s Cafe & Creamery, the Rowhomes on Kimball, Ace Hardware, Prairie Rock, Keeney's, The Martini Room, Simple Balance Holistic Center and That Suits You (also had an article last week).
I tried to keep my scorecard up to date but with so much action I may have missed a play.

The Courier News "Around Our Towns" Elgin section highlighted the new residential developments, River Park Place, the Rowhomes on Kimball and Fountain Square. The effect on downtown retail, including Ace Hardware, Akina's, Prairie Rock, Keeney's and The Martini Room was given it's share of column space. Jim and Cindy Bechtold, the owners of Simple, had an entire story about the store and their white postcards.

Mark Billings of the Daily Herald, had a story on the renovation at the old J.C. Penney building, 51 S. Grove. In April, it will become the sales and marketing center for the Fountain Square on the River residential development. Akina's was mentioned in the same article. Two stories on Simple by Lenore T. Adkins.

All this and the baseball season doesn't even start until next week.