St. Patrick’s Day Pancake Breakfast

Join Central Baptist Church before the St. Patrick’s Day parade and enjoy a delicious breakfast! You can even leave your car parked conveniently at the church (at the corner of 4th & Jackson) while you watch the parade.

Generous portions of pancakes, sausage, fruit, and drinks served by the youth group. Tickets available from any youth group member or at the door, Adults $7 / under 12 $3.

Central Baptist’s Downtown Youth and New Berlin Youth Group are working to raise money for the youth group and the Pretzel Sports Boosters (to help offset funding needed to fund the sports trainer position).

Nominees for Downtown’s Best of 2017

Ace Sign and SAA shared an award for the Art Benches project for 2016. Who will win for 2017?

On January 25, Downtown Springfield Inc. will hold its 25th Annual Dinner–including awards recognizing the most buzzworthy people and places in downtown over the past year.

After a public nomination period which ended in November, the Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the 2017 nominees in each of the following categories. Award Committee Chair Jane Mosey-Nicoletta is a Past President and past Volunteer of the Year winner at DSI. “Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the nominees this year — we have a great mix of new and old favorites who people really root for,” said Mosey-Nicoletta.

The 2017 winners, along with Green Leadership Award winner, Downtown Advocate, DSI Volunteer of the Year and Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced during the Dinner.

This is DSI’s biggest fundraiser and party of the year to support our work to increase Volume (ie foot traffic), fill Vacancies, increase Vitality and create a shared Vision for downtown’s future. Get your tickets before the early bird deadline of January 16 to support our work in 2018 and to celebrate a year of growth and change in Springfield’s downtown district in 2017>

Look back at DSI Award History 2008-2016

Best Signage
The Roost
Springfield Vintage
Tacology 101

Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Sangamon CEO Program
SAA’s Paint the Street
Urban Sassafras Parklet with IL Realtors/CAR & City of Springfield

Best Downtown Event
DSI’s Friends of the Market Street Dinner
Fat Ass 5K
The Parent Place’s Halloween Parade

Best Retail
The Roost
Springfield Vintage
Urban Sassafras

Best Restaurant
Long Nine Junction
Maldaner’s
Tacology 101

Best Nightlife
Floyd’s Thirst Parlor
The Legacy Theater
Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery

Innovative Business Concept
Hair of the Dog Bar/bershop
Urban Sassafras Take & Make Kits

People’s Choice Holiday Walks Window
Augie’s Front Burner
Murphy’s Loft
Wild Rose

Best Advocate
Brent Boesdorfer
Linda Renehan
Erin Svendsen

Best Renovation
Loukinen’s on Fourth
St. George Building

Best NFP Initiative
100+ Who Care
186 Foundation Pop-Up Bookstore
Central Baptist Feast of Plenty Thanksgiving Meal

Best Creative Promotion
Incredibly Delicious‘ Social Media Cake Campaigns
Urban Sassafras Girls’ Night Out
Willow & Birch‘s Countdown to Downtown

What the Comp Plan Says About Downtown

Rather than attempting to stamp suburbia on our historic downtown as previous comprehensive plans did, “Forging a New Legacy,” Springfield’s new comprehensive plan, allows the community to recognize the uniqueness of each area and the opportunities (and challenges) that go with that uniqueness.

Can Springfield forge ahead with vision as the title of the newest comprehensive plan supposes? Only time will tell.

The plan, now available for public review, makes long-overdue and much-needed updates to the most recent version from 2000.

Although this new plan includes major transportation arterials that were described in previous versions (a strong nod toward outward growth), it does attempt to help steer our focus and attention back toward the center.

“Forging a New Legacy” highlights an increasingly relevant issue: rate of growth. The plan projects that Springfield will grow at around 10 percent over 20 years, or one-half of one percent per year. This conservative (and likely realistic) view on the rate of growth is important because it draws our attention back to preserving what the plan refers to as “legacy neighborhoods.”

By preserving legacy neighborhoods, the costs to city government do not rise as sharply over time (increased roadway maintenance, fire protection coverage, sewerage, etc.). The call for neighborhood master plans, including (and especially) in the central business district, is an opportunity for Springfield to address smaller details that are not necessarily at issue in other parts of the city.

In a similar vein, the comprehensive plan also includes direction for what it calls “special areas,” as well as proposed “opportunities.” These special areas should demand a greater focus, and the authors recognize that additional details must be worked out in accordance with some general principles set forth in the overall plan.

Also of interest to fans of downtown — the plan makes the assumption that railroad relocation will occur and that Third Street will ultimately be transformed into a greenway.

The public is welcome to comment on the plan until Thursday, November 16. Then it goes to the city council for formal adoption. You can access the plan (and other relevant documents) at www.springfield.il.us/Businesses/2037CompPlan.aspx.

This post was written by Steven Simpson Black, who runs his own small business while earning a planning degree from UIS.

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