Downtown Antioch Welcomes Open Space Redevelopment Groundbreaking

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Blighted property to be redeveloped into park space, with an exposed creek waterway, performance space, splash pad, and inclusive playground 

Before a crowd of residents, community stakeholders, and current and former elected officials, Village of Antioch Mayor Scott Gartner led a groundbreaking ceremony that has been anticipated by the Antioch community for years. Earlier this morning, the ceremony marked the beginning of the construction to redevelop land near the downtown business district that had been vacant and blighted for years. When finished, the village’s newest parkland will have a splash pad, an accessible playground, a beautiful public performance space featuring an elegant gazebo, and a concession area with bathrooms, all centered around a re-exposed Sequoit Creek. The updates to the creek add beautiful aesthetics, plus flood mitigation attributes.

Antioch Mayor Scott J. Gartner commemorated the day as another “giant step” forward in the transformation of downtown Antioch. The completion of the project is expected in the summer of 2024.

“This development project will provide a major boost in tourism and economic development opportunities for the Village of Antioch, while also addressing stormwater management issues and preserving natural open space in our community,” said Gartner. “This blighted piece of property will soon be transformed into a beautiful community space that will be a year-round attraction for visitors to our downtown business district.”

Roughly 50 years ago, this area of Sequoit Creek was fitted with a 102″ metal culvert and was buried to make way for a commercial auto dealership development. Over time, the businesses left, the culvert detreated, and the village worked to acquire all of the parcels that make up this property. By 2019, the culvert completely failed, creating a blighted eyesore. The failed culvert also impaired the flow of the creek, presenting both a general flooding hazard for downtown and a threat of flooding for upstream properties. 

In 2021, after acquiring the remainder of the property, the Village engaged the Lakota Group, a planning and landscape architecture firm, to seek the Antioch community’s feedback as to the final use and redevelopment of the property. With community input, the Lakota Group and Strand Associates Engineering produced detailed construction plans for the redevelopment of the property as an open space with an exposed or daylighted Sequoit Creek. 

In May of this year, the Antioch Village Board selected Boller Construction Company as the winning bidder for the $12.5 million project. Financing for the project comes in part from American Recovery Plan Act funding (ARPA) – $1.9 million, Stormwater Management Commission grant – $2.75 million, with the remainder of the funds from Alternate Revenue Source General Obligation Bonds. These bonds will be repaid by Business District sales tax revenue, without creating an additional tax burden for village property owners.

This Project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLT 3381 awarded to the State of Illinois by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.