Despite the fragile state of the economy, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and Special Service Area (SSA) 27 recently announced the launch of the Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP), an initiative to reenvision areas along Lincoln Avenue, Belmont Avenue, and the Southport Corridor. Key components of the plan include defining the Lakeview area, investigating emerging business, identifying opportunities for growth, retaining current tenants, and creating a cohesive streetscape.
After issuing a request for proposals from various consulting firms, PLACE Consulting, Inc., was selected to take on the planning project. PLACE has worked on various projects to develop and revitalize such neighborhoods as West Town, East Lakeview, Little Village, and Lincoln Park.
Heather Way, Executive Director of the Lakeview Chamber, said LAMP is designed to improve the quality of life for residents, as well as encourage visitors to the community. “Our line of thinking is that we want a complete community. When I say that I mean we want to create a community where people want to live, linger, and have a longing to come back. The plan addresses those three areas.”
Way says that some local residents have asked ‘Why would you do this during an economic downturn?’ to which she says, “Why wouldn’t we do this during an economic downturn? It’s perfect timing… When the pendulum swings the other way, we’ll have already hit the ground running and be ready to rebuild our neighborhood.”
The Master Plan, which will incorporate the consultants’ expertise, economic analysis, and community feedback, is slated for a March 2011 release. Way encourages residents to follow on Twitter @thisislakeview and says a special section of the Chamber website will be devoted to LAMP.