Development of this parcel was called out in the original Uptown Normal Renewal Plan aimed to revitalize the small Central Business District directly adjacent to the Illinois State University campus. Major components of the plan include a hotel and conference center, children’s museum, multimodal transportation center, enhanced sidewalks, rehabilitated historic buildings, and a traffic circle surrounded by five architecturally significant buildings. With the exception of Trail East and one other building on the Circle, all of the major plan components have been built. In addition, environmental sustainability was at the heart of the plan, and today in Uptown are four LEED-certified buildings and an Uptown Circle honored with the US EPA Smart Growth Award and US FHWA Transportation Planning Excellence Award.
The Town updated and expanded the plan in 2015 into an area south of the Uptown railroad tracks. Called Uptown 2.0, this area is slated for development including a new 10,000 square-foot public library, public park, and a mixture of high‐density residential and office space. An underpass will connect the north and south sides of the railroad.
In December 2017, the Town sought development proposals for Trail East, a vacant, Town‐owned property, and on January 16, 2018 the Council approved the negotiation of a development agreement with Bush Construction of Davenport, Iowa, for development of this area.
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