Print-Friendly Page - Case Studies Page - http://www.ncinstitute.org/casestudies.html
A proven track record of transforming potential into success, as seen in these Case Studies
Polishing a Diamond in the Rough
Challenge: Develop a master plan for a post-industrial city's lakefront and historic downtown, judiciously using public funds to stimulate private investment in community revitalization
Results: In 2003, the City of Waukegan launched a redevelopment master plan and financial strategy for its 1,400-acre lakefront and 400-acre downtown. The Midwest's largest planning project, the Waukegan redevelopment plan encompasses more than 4,000 new residences, an intermodal regional commuter rail and bus station, a restored eco-park and moorland system, and improvements to the expansive marina. As the city's development advisor (and liaison to the planning team led by architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill), Ruth Wuorenma acted as the de facto executive director for the internal and external groups established to spearhead and oversee the planning process. Incisive market analyses and confidential interviews with leading regional developers shaped the plan's development.
Focusing on the city's potential rather than its constraints, the plan included an aggressive lakefront cleanup that opened the way for a variety of new development opportunities. An initial $250 million of public investment is expected to leverage almost $1 billion in private capital. At the City Council meeting adopting the master plan, Mayor Richard H. Hyde singled out Wuorenma as the driving force in the plan's success.
Opening Doors to Homeownership
Challenge: Create homeownership opportunities affordable to households earning less than $30,000 a year --- without subsidies, special loans or income qualifications
Results: Bernice Terraces' 60 apartments were converted to condominiums priced for households earning about 40 percent of area median income (between $17,000 and $25,000). Positioned as "value housing" rather than "affordable housing," the property attracted buyers highly diverse in income, race and, most strikingly, age, from young adults to retirees who had never before owned a home. For many buyers, their home loan was their first formal relationship with a bank; most down payments were made with a money order. Yet because buyers were never categorized (or marginalized) as low-income, they felt successful --- a financial institution had given them a loan.
Waukegan's master plan creates unity among interrelated districts, each with
its own opportunities and contraints.
ADDITIONAL CASE NOTES:
Downtown Waukegan's revitalization plan incorporates historic adaptive re-use.
Neighborhood Capital Institute
47 West Polk Street, Suite 100-573Chicago, IL60605tel. (312) 986-0617