Saturday, October 22, 2011

Liberty Heights Redevelopment II Forest Park Town Centre

Just a few short blocks east of Howard Park Town Centre lies Forest Park Town Centre. The execution of this plan will be a lot more involved than that of its neighbor to the west. Forest Park Town Centre is located at the poorly planned intersection of Liberty Heights, Berwyn, Forest Park Avenue, and Garrison Boulevard. Along with redevelopment and improvements to buildings, the traffic patterns will be adjusted to ensure a smoother traffic flow.

The Retail selection in Forest Park lackluster at best. Then again the adjacent housing stock is distressed at best. This post is not dedicated to the housing stock, it is about the Retail selection and the need for improvement in the blocks surrounding Liberty Heights Avenue and Garrison Boulevard. The residences that are distressed along Liberty Heights however will be discussed.
The only way to make sense out of any redevelopment plan is to look at the roads and see if changes will be made there. In this case, changes will be made to the roads in question so they will be discussed first. Berwyn Avenue will not go below Liberty Heights as it does now. Garrison Boulevard will be the only way to get to Liberty Heights. If travelling north on Garrison all traffic will bare right to stay on Garrison as Berwyn will now be closed. Also Forest Park Avenue will be realigned to make for one intersection at Garrison instead of the two not being even like they are now. By simplifying the traffic pattern in the heart of Forest Park it will flow much more smoothly.
Another casualty of the traffic reconfiguration is Liberty Elementary School. As part of my plan to introduce New School Construction to the City while reducing the surplus of seats will be tear down the current building and rebuild the School (renamed Forest Park Elementary) on Liberty Heights where its current intersection with Berwyn Avenue is. Forest Park Elementary will house the population of Liberty Elementary and two other Neighboring Elementary Schools and will look like the above photo.
Most existing Retail will be torn down as it is dated and blighted. In order to introduce New Retail to Forest Park the buildings that house it must also be new. The new Walgreens is a perfect example of this. In addition to new Retail, there should be apartments located above. New Retail should be include but not be limited to; Starbucks, Bob Evans, Pizzeria Unos, Banks (not check cashing). a Dry Cleaners, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Five Guys, Ritas, and Dollar Tree. In other words convenience Retail. The Rite Aid and GNC will be located in New Buildings.
Also to be included with the residential redevelopment is Liberty Post Apartments and a few stray garden Apartments along Liberty Heights between Howard Park Town Centre and Forest Park Town Centre they will be replaced with more fitting higher density Apartments. If there is a concentration of Single Family Homes along Liberty Heights that have gone vacant, they can also be torn down and redeveloped with a higher density Apartments as well.
Well that concludes my plan the Forest Park Town Centre, keep in mind this is a very focused area this post concentrates on and this isn't all that needs to be done in Forest Park. There will be future posts regarding the Forest Park area as a whole and redevelopment that needs to take place. Stay tuned!

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