Thanks again to all who came out to share ideas and feedback this past Monday evening at Winnetka’s Downtown Master Plan ‘Public Workshop’. Below is a summary of the feedback received. See something missing? Venture over to the ‘Idea Zone‘ and send us additional thought bubbles – be sure to scroll down and see what your neighbors have been sharing as well.
Station 1 – Voting Priorities
Top Priorities + Additional Comments
Downtown Elm Street:
- Priority: Downtown Elm needs more dining options / pubs to enhance nightlife (27 votes)
- Priority: The Post Office Site should be developed into a mixed-use building (20 votes)
- Priority: East and West Elm make up one downtown not two separate business districts (15 votes)
- 10 Dislike Votes – The Post Office Site should be converted into an outdoor gathering space.
- More housing that is walkable to the train station and accessible for people with disabilities;
- Do not destroy the playground and open space at the west end of the park by the Post Office and Village Hall — it is a good transition and well used;
- Buildings need to preserve mixed-use and encourage more of it to be created;
- Fix parking situation by Community House – not enough space for loading / unloading near nursery school;
- More dining / family / night life;
- No more nail salons;
- Need a Village Square type gathering space, not just another park;
- Need a place in town where 5th-8th graders can find something to do – not enough options for youths / teens;
- Post Office Site could have open areas as well as a mixed-use building
- Priority: Hubbard Woods needs more family friendly dining options and coffee houses (24 votes)
- Priority: Hubbard Woods needs to expand festivals and events to enhance nightlife (19 votes)
- Priority: Hubbard Woods needs to fill vacancies (19 votes)
- Priority: Hubbard Woods should better celebrate the park and focus on family activities (18 votes)
- Loving the new park… so far;
- Need family-friendly brew pub near train station;
- Needs a strong destination / reason to come to Hubbard Woods;
- Aggressively move to fill the vacant commercial space;
- Attract coffee shops / cafes, places to meet neighbors;
- Train bridge and platform desperately need attention – safety / beautification issue;
- Hubbard Woods Design District is okay so long as there is a complimentary mix of uses to support such;
- Imagine a small, Green Mill or space in the community for music / jazz;
- Priority: Indian Hill is fine as is — the focus of this plan should be on Elm Street and Hubbard Woods (21 votes)
- Priority: Indian Hill users needs to cater to New Trier High School (18 votes)
- Get the Union Pacific Railroad to let New Trier service clubs operate the ticket station as a cafe for commuters and New Trier students as a fundraising / service opportunity.
- Could use eatery where teens could gather after school in large Tudor office building;
- More restaurants;
- Better parking;
- Make triangle land across from car dealer into a coffee or sandwich restaurant (Starbucks, Jimmy Johns?);
- Rezone for mixed-use;
- Get rid of the old gas station;
- Develop the park;
Station 2 – Vision Collage
- Family-friendly spaces that invite out the neighborhood / play ground
- Nature-inspired / celebrate the Park / outdoor venues and gathering spaces
- Charming arcades of owner-operated stores that entice people to shop in Winnetka
- More food and dining options, brew pubs, coffee shops, hip restaurants, wine bars, candy / ice cream / frozen yogurt, pizza, etc.
- Music oriented
- Dog friendly
- Charming streetscape features
- Bike lanes
- Post Office Site – Beautiful, multi-family owner-occupied housing with lots of green space throughout
Station 3 – Winnetka Madlibs
Winnetka Madlibs: Downtown Elm
- Accessible / walkable / bike friendly
- Great food / dining / coffee
- Retail shopping
- Grocery shopping
- Place to meet friends
- Family oriented
- Outdated / tired
- Too many nail salons / real estate brokers
- Without multi-family housing
- Fragmented / divided into two districts
- High business turn-over
- Limited business diversity
- More retail diversity
- Better connectivity
- More multi-family housing (make downtown lively) / townhouses (consider post office site)
- Hardware store
- Retail / Mixed-use at Post Office Site
Nice Nearby Destinations:
- The beach / lake
- Train station
- The Grand
- Book Stall
- Toy Store
- Lincoln Plaza / Lincoln Avenue Art Center
Winnetka Madlibs: Hubbard Woods
- Family-friendly / fun
- Shop for unique gifts
- Full of vitality
- Great walking area
- Great place to listen to music
- Vacancies / Ghost town
- Economically drained
- Old / dated
- Limited food and drink
- Fill spaces with neighborhood-friendly vendors
- Anchor restaurant / more dining options / brew pub
- Music festival / band shell
- Retains neighborhood feel
- Adds economic value
Nice Nearby Destinations:
- Green Bay Trail
- Hubbard Woods Motors
- Once Upon A Bagel
- Lake / Beach
- Downtown Elm Street
Station 4 – District Discussion
Downtown Elm Street
- Is Winnetka for residents only or should we be attracting others?
- There is no Downtown identity.
- Why don’t we attract more restaurants?
- Civic uses are clustered here.
- Downtown is missing housing.
- Desire for hardware store, bakery, and family friendly restaurants.
- Need place for teens to hang out.
- Major assets include the beach, book stall, train station, Village Green, Hadley School.
- Sidewalk is too narrow
- Central feature is the Park – need more connections to activities therein.
- High-end retail draws from North Shore.
- Better in memory
- Sprinkler Ordinance / Landlords / Rents – impediments?
- Assets include interesting buildings, fabric of urban form.
- Missing vitality, places to eat, family activities…
- Design District may not be in the best interest of family friendly activities.
- New Trier – No place to go, stay,, head to.
- Lost the automotive character.
- Lots of foot traffic
- Where is the space to put stores?
- Needs a business / restaurant at the train station.