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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | January 13, 2020
CHICAGO—Chicago Loop Alliance is producing a State Street Corridor Plan, to be released in fall 2020. Urban design and architecture firm Site Design Group, Ltd. (Site) was selected from a competitive pool of applicants to create the plan, which will include recommendations on character, aesthetics and infrastructure; public space; transportation and mobility; connectivity; retail and business mix; and technology. The planning process for the State Street Corridor Plan will emphasize community engagement. For more information and to sign up for updates on how to get involved, visit www.loopchicago.com/statestreet.
This is Chicago Loop Alliance’s first plan for State Street since 1987, when the organization called for the street to be reopened to automobile traffic after a stint as a bus and pedestrian mall.
“As we showed with our Economic Profile last year, everything about the Loop is changing rapidly—residential demographics, commercial real estate, mobility, etc.,” said Chicago Loop Alliance Director of Planning Kalindi Parikh. “Chicago Loop Alliance is interested in being a leader in envisioning a new version of State Street. We see this street as a connector for all of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Our corridor plan will guide us in keeping the street competitive in a changing economic landscape, and in keeping it a ‘great street’ for all Chicagoans.”
Chicago Loop Alliance is the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, which includes property on both sides of State Street between Wacker Drive and Ida B. Wells Drive. In 1979, the State Street Council and the City of Chicago opened the “State Street Mall,” a pedestrian and bus mall that closed State Street to automobile and bicycle traffic. In 1987, the Greater State Street Council published “A Vision for the Future of Greater State Street,” which outlined a plan to reopen the street to traffic. In 1996, the renovation was completed, and State Street reopened with historic-looking infrastructure, including light poles, bus kiosks, signage, planters, and more. That same year, Special Service Area #1 was reconstituted, and later the Greater State Street Council merged with the Central Michigan Avenue Association to form the Chicago Loop Alliance as the sole service provider for the SSA.
Chicago Loop Alliance previously worked with Site on Lightscape, a light and sound installation located in 17 planters along State Street that was installed in 2011. Site is also known for projects around Chicago including the Argyle Shared Street, McCormick Square, Mary Bartelme Park, Chicago Riverwalk East, West Loop Design Guidelines, and Printer’s Row Park.
“Given the history of State Street and its impact on Chicago, Site is honored and delighted to explore the possibilities of activation, mobility, excitement and community with Chicago Loop Alliance,” said Site Co-Founder and Principal Ernie Wong. “The Site team is comprised of notable experts in retail and commerce, mobility, technology and Chicago-based artists, enthusiastically working with stakeholders and community members to develop a vision for State Street that embraces our times and culture. State Street is a symbol of Chicago, and Chicago's neighborhoods define this city. We look forward to this exciting challenge and the outcomes of change.”
To kick off the State Street Corridor Plan process, Wong will deliver the keynote presentation at Chicago Loop Alliance’s 2020 Annual Meeting, 8-10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Grand Ballroom of the Palmer House Hilton. He will answer the question, “Why create a plan for State Street?” and explain how stakeholders can get involved with the planning process. The event will also feature remarks from Samir Mayekar, Chicago’s Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development. Annual Meeting presenting sponsors include CIBC and Streetplus, and title sponsors include Chicago Zoological Society | Brookfield Zoo, DePaul University and the Joffrey Ballet. Tickets for the Annual Meeting can be purchased at www.loopchicago.com/annualmeeting.
About Chicago Loop Alliance
Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA)’s mission is to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces public art projects and events. For more information, please visit www.loopchicago.com.
About Site Design Group, Ltd.
Embarking on 30 years of urban design and landscape architecture in a city of architectural significance, Site Design Group, Ltd. (Site)'s award-winning projects have impacted nearly every neighborhood in the City of Chicago. From neighborhood parks to commercial streetscapes, school campuses to community planning projects, the professional staff of Site's progressive thinkers hail from around the globe. Site is inspired by the spaces and people that make up their communities to bring a high level of creativity to each of their projects. Their commitment to strive for the highest level of design is translated into a commitment of stewardship from the clients they serve. Great design equals great communities.