Downtown Springfield

WIkipedia commons/taken by W. Wadas

The latest employment numbers show Illinois is adding jobs, and the rate of unemployment across the state is dipping below 4 percent.

However, Jim Clifton, CEO of the research firm Gallup, says those reports can be misleading because they count people who have part-time jobs, but who would prefer full-time hours and pay.

Downtown Springfield, Inc.

Sean Burns talks with Nikki Overcash of the Vachel Lindsay Society and Erica Smith of the Top Hat Tellers about this weekend's "Amaranth Apple" Food and Music Festival in downtown Springfield.

Hosted by Downtown Springfield Inc, the festival includes Bedrock 66 Live performances by Matthew Sweet, Chuck Mead, and many others; food and drink provided by several local restaurants; along with poetry, film, and acoustic music on the Lindsay Lounge stage.

downtownspringfield.org/event/amaranthapple/

NPR Illinois

Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register.

    

The City of Springfield Office of Public Works has announced that due to the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, the following areas will be closed to traffic starting at 12-noon on Friday, September 23:

mrlib.org

Tim and Bill chat about the recent spate of business closings downtown & elsewhere.

loc.gov

On this week's business report, Tim Landis talks with Bill Wheelhouse about some renovated apartments coming on the market in downtown Springfield.

University of Illinois

Do you think downtown Springfield parking is a challenge? Study says about 50% of spaces are used.

That is among topics Bill and Tim discuss on this weeks biz report:

hilton.com

Spingfield's "skyscraper" will be changing labels at the end of the year.  Tim Landis and Bill Wheelhouse chat about the transition of the Springfield Hilton on the Business report.

Michael Mayosky

A project meant to "art - ify" Springfield's city center may have hit a dead-end. The effort to add more murals kicked off a couple years ago. Now there's only a single incomplete one to show for it. The question remains if Springfield will join other cities in Illinois, and across the country, that can boast their downtowns as places where public art is highlighted. 

    

flickr/Katherine Johnson

Without some help, Downtown Springfield Incorporated could cease to exist in just over a month.  The organization that helps put on events like the downtown farmer's market, blue and bar-b-q and serves as an umbrella group for various businesses is on the ropes financially. 

Victoria Ringer, Executive Director, says a 2012 Taste of Downtown event suffered from extreme heat, which kept patrons away.  After making up part of that loss, this year's outdoor blues show also lost money because of heat.

SJ-R.com

The State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis explains residents are upset about a plan to open a meat market along Stevenson Drive in the old Eagle Supermarket building. The concern comes from a proposal to allow animal slaughtering on site.

Also, Legacy Pointe was supposed to have had outlet stores and a lot more by now.  The delay of development has led to questions about the project ever coming to fruition.  

And, Downtown Springfield Inc. could be running out of money as early as next month. What happened and will the city come to the rescue?

SJ-R.com

On this week's WUIS/State Journal-Register Business Report, Sean Crawford talks with the SJ-R's Tim Landis about efforts to re-develop property along MacArthur Boulevard that was the home to the Esquire Theatre.  One developer has pulled out and nearby residents have their ideas on what should happen there.

The discussion also centers on downtown Springfield traffic.  It's on the minds of businesses and residents in that area.  There's a plan to slow things down and make it more pedestrian friendly.   

sj-r.com

Turning an abandoned downtown Church into the "metropolitan place", Stanford Avenue expansion, a car dealership adds another brand and a chili parlor open again.

flickr/pasa47

The Sustainable Design Assessment Team has been focused on the future of Downtown Springfield for about two years. 

SDAT sees the need for more residential space downtown.  A recent study confirms that view. 

"We're really talking about millenials, people in their 20's plus or minus.  And we're talking about the other end of the spectrum, empty nesters," Action Committee Co-chair Chuck Pell said.  Students from UIS or SIU could also be another group looking for a downtown living experience. 

wuis.org

Springfield's effort to reduce panhandling in the downtown area is facing a legal challenge.   While business owners say a city ordinance has worked, critics say it infringes on free speech rights.
 

SDAT

Encouraging investment in Springfield's downtown is a key part of what the Sustainable Design Assessment Team hopes to accomplish.  

At the downtown farmer's market this Saturday, visitors can see display designs created by several architects.  They offer their vision of what downtown properties could become, with a focus on residential opportunities.