City of Ottawa, Illinois

The continued economic growth of downtown Ottawa may very well be dependent upon the attraction of new visitors and tourists to the downtown.  With this in mind, the City of Ottawa is exploring the possibility of transforming all or part of the 100 block of West Jackson Street into a festival plaza.

In order to seek public opinion and provide the public with more information about this concept, the City of Ottawa is holding an open meeting at City Hall on the evening of Monday, October 15 at 7:00 PM.  Meeting participants will have the opportunity both to learn more about the concept as well as share their thoughts and ideas with City officials and the representatives of Wight & Company, the architectural firm assisting the City.

During the course of the past decade, downtown Ottawa has undergone an amazing revitalization from a concrete desert without any flowers or trees and empty, deteriorating commercial buildings to a beautiful and vibrant place full of unique shops and restaurants. 

Stated Mayor Bob Eschbach, “Much of this economic growth has happened because of the increased ability of downtown Ottawa to attract new visitors.  If the downtown with its growing number of shops and restaurants is to continue to thrive, an ever-increasing number of tourists must come to recognize downtown Ottawa as an attractive place to enjoy unique shopping and dining.  The creation of festivals and visitor attractions supported by more marketing, are the key ingredients to the continued success of downtown Ottawa.”

With this mind, the City of Ottawa is exploring the transformation of all or a portion of the 100 block of West Jackson Street into a festival plaza with the ability to host a wide variety of events and attractions.  The project is being pursued in partnership with CL Real Estate and Development which is in the midst of a multi-million dollar renovation of the adjacent former Woolworth and Carson buildings.  This project, to be completed in Spring, 2019, will feature thousands of square feet of new shop, restaurant and event space – all designed to attract more visitors to downtown Ottawa.

One of the fully recognized concerns with this project is the potential loss of parking spaces on the 100 block of West Jackson Street.  With this in mind, the City of Ottawa has commissioned a parking study which focuses on the amount and availability of parking within a two block radius of this section of Jackson Street.  The preliminary results of this study will be presented at the meeting on October 15, 2018.