Forest Park working to reinvent Northland Boulevard

The City of Forest Park is actively working to reinvent its dated Northland Boulevard corridor into a place that is attractive, contemporary, and composed of mixed uses.

Paul Brehm, economic development director for the City of Forest Park, estimates that between $15 million and $20 million will be spent on projects on both Northland Boulevard and Hamilton Avenue over the next ten years.

The focus area for the Northland project is the segment between Waycross and Southland roads.

On the north side, the city is about a month away from signing tenants for the Class B office buildings at 640 and 660 Northland.

Demolition at 680 Northland will allow for business district parking and provide space for a future expansion of the Parkdale post office.

On the south side of the street, plans are in the works to build a mixed-use center with a regional homeland security center, a regional business incubator, and a Job Ready Site – possibly for a $2 million medical services facility.

The entire project would be tied together with a new streetscape and new gateway businesses at each end.

Brehm says that there is still demand in First Suburbs for development that ties the residential and commercial communities together.

"As we acquire properties, if we can assemble the sites, there is certainly interest by residential and commercial developers to come in and do some good work," Brehm said.  "The interest is still there.  The problem is putting a product in place that is relevant to the whole market."

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Paul Brehm, City of Forest Park economic development director
Photography courtesy of City of Forest Park
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