The Right Hand Seems To Know What It’s Doing

Linda Kunze will present the Downtown Management Corp 2008 Q1 Report report to council Tuesday April 15th.

Couple things are notable:

    • Retail space occupancy in the CBD is very high. 99% high.
    • Office space occupancy in the CBD is very high. 99% high.
    • For both, rents are at all time highs.

All good news. Nothing broken here.

2006 EAV, according to stats supplied by the village, has grown to $37,624,286.00 from a 1997 TIF baseline of $16,606,373.00. While this looks impressive, keep in mind DG borrowed around $50 million to spend on the CBD, mostly for infrastructure and developer giveaways thinly disguised as bad real estate deals. At some point it will be acknowledged that the CBD TIF was never going to be a money maker anyway. The CBD added 14 businesses since 2000, including 5 restaurants. There’s 6 banks downtown, same now as in 2000.

So, no surprises here either. Looks like a healthy downtown, with Ms. Kunze continuing to work making it even better.

The last quarterly EDC report was also positive, and showed DG recovering from subprime mortgage mills suddenly closing shop and dissappearing, leaving a noticeable chunk of empty office space.

In February, Greg Bedalov, Director of the EDC, has rolled out the first installment of the “In” Campaign, which is a collaborative marketing effort between the Village, Library, Schools, Park District and business community. For use at trade shows, convention and visitors’ bureaus, and on sales calls, it will be web-linked to other websites for marketing and overall education about the Village and what we offer the outside world. Mr. Bedalov said there would be subsequent segments focusing on specific areas of interest. More than one council member said it was a fabulous production.

All of this effort on the part of organizations created to help market Downers Grove. I’m thinking if they are marketing Downers Grove to the outside world, they may have some insight into who we are, and who we want to be, what we want to look like to others’ eyes.

To morph an old saying; does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

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2 Responses to “The Right Hand Seems To Know What It’s Doing”

  1. Caribou Coffee Drinker Says:

    Anyone think the village website is not as good as the last design? What happened to the green logo? Now, there are orange, yellow, blue, etc. There are SO many better website designs for a village than the one we have now. Inconsistent GUI look and feel. Many links are not standard.

    I know there was a feedback session for this prior to going live. I couldn’t attend. I wonder if the village had the shell/infrastructure done in house or outsourced it. God help us if it was outsourced. If it was in house, I would question the experience and graphic design aspect of the person doing it.

    But it all comes into branding the village. Everything should have one unified umbrella logo with the ability to add or tailor it to specific groups in the village.

  2. markthoman Says:

    I attended that tech feedback session. The website update was done in-house, and the guy who did it has moved on. When it was unveiled at council it was generally accepted as an improvement.

    A couple things stick out about the website:
    – No dynamic menus. Those are the new menu boxes that pop out when you move your mouse over a menu item. It eliminates a lot of clicking to get where you want to go. I suggested that at the tech feedback meeting last year and used Plainfield as an example of what I was talking about.
    – Minutes and recordings. John Scholfield ran an experimental site last year to demonstrate how the village could organize and provide all public meeting records in one area. It was pretty good but has not been implemented by the village.
    – Organized by need. Almost there, with three obvious sections-Residents, Business, Government not accessible from the front page, but from some second row black box links.
    – News is kludgy. Simply posting to a blog or further down the front page would solve that problem.
    – Top row black boxes redirect you away from the DG site. Not a big deal, but opening in a new window or tab would be better.
    – Muni code search uses google, which is fine but doesn’t always take you where you want to go. Type in Tree Ordinance and you go to 8 – BUSINESS AND ACTIVITY LICENSES AND REGULATIONS. Use Plainfield’s muni code search for an idea of a friendlier function.

    See City of Joliet for a fairly well designed website by Gammon Group.

    You can also directly contact the Webmaster at DG simply by clicking the link in the lower left corner of every page.


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