The Village of Oswego hosted a public open house in early October to showcase design concepts, models and drawings for downtown and Fox River-front area developments to initiate discussion and get feedback on the preliminary ideas. Residents, property owners and business owners attended the meeting.
Ginkgo Planning & Design Inc. is leading the design and planning effort with a multi-disciplinary consulting team including SB Friedman, KLOA and Hitchcock Design Group, reports Beaconnews.suntimes.com.
The concept plans envision the natural Fox River islands south of downtown to be developed and connected with Hudson Crossing Park through a one-mile trail as well as an observation tower to spot Oswego’s migrant eagle population, a bird-feeder trail or illuminated trails on the islands.
“Without really doing anything to the islands you can start by making them accessible with a one-mile natural trail,” said Ferhat Zerin, principal land planner of Ginkgo Planning & Design.
The ideas also included three- to four-story mixed-use downtown commercial buildings or residential developments and relocation of the park’s south end parking lot along the edge of the railroad tracks.
“Let us know what your dreams are for your community,” Zerin said, describing the riverfront as “blank canvas”. “We really believe your riverfront and downtown are your untapped economic engines.”
“I am always excited by the possibilities even though this may not all come to be,” said Village trustee Gail Johnson. “We have an opportunity to get together with our residents and business owners and dream about what these spaces could look like if we dared to dream. We have a lovely downtown, we do not have enough businesses open late or restaurants for all of the people who want to come to our downtown and spend an evening.”
Ginko expects to reach a consensus and approval by sometime next spring. A second public forum has been planned on Jan. 28.