What Businesses Do You Want In Park Ridge? City Wants To Know

Park Ridge has a task force looking to find out what businesses residents would like to see. They're asking residents to fill out a survey about where they shop.


Park Ridge is asking its residents to help decide what direction it wants to go in terms of economic development by filling out a survey on the city’s website.

The challenge for the city, said Jim Testin, the city’s community preservation and development director, is to maintain the traditionally residential character of Park Ridge while still encouraging businesses that residents would like to see, both to provide products and services in Park Ridge and to add to the tax base.

Earlier: Mayor offers both good and bad news to Chamber of Commerce

The survey, which asks about respondents’ shopping habits, is one initiative of the Economic Development Task Force, a group of 28 community and business leaders which began meeting in January with a goal of bolstering the city’s real estate and sales tax base by attracting and retaining more businesses in the village.

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The task force was created to help the village move forward after years of having an economic development commissioner or director – a position that was eliminated two years ago. Economic development responsibilities were assigned to the deputy city manager, but no one is filling that role right now, Testin said.

Task force will gather info, suggest direction

Before deciding how to proceed, the city council decided to ask local leaders to form a task force to help set a direction.

The group has divided itself into five subcommittees, focusing on consumer research and maintaining up-to-date information, communication, city review processes, promoting Park Ridge and marketing Park Ridge’s business environment.

From surveying residents to reviewing signage

Each sub-group set both short- and long-term goals, with some of them already being worked on, Testin said. The consumer survey on the website is one example; a review of the city’s signage regulations is another.

The city also has shown some success in attracting the kinds of retailers it believes its residents want, he said, citing the Whole Foods store planned for Touhy Avenue near Washington Street in Uptown.

Testin said that however the city proceeds – by having a staff member devoted to economic development, for example, or a committee of business leaders, the task force will point them in the right direction.

“This is the perfect first step,” he said.

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Quagmire November 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Look at Hiighland Park, Lake Forest and other smaller Uptowns & Downtowns that have a suceesfull retail without over building. Some of the retail stores Uptown charge alot more than what the items are worth ( some exact apparel items at malls are $100.00 less ) . If specialty stores would charge the norm or close to it, then people of the community would not have to go to mall stores and there would be more repeat business. We have some really nice restaraunts , Starbucks, Affresco, Eggsperience,Gumba Joe's,Hallmark, Fannie May, Hair Salons and Spas,and we need to attract more stable yet low impact chain businesses as well as specialty businesses.It is worth to pay a little more for the convienience of local shopping rather than going to a mall but not hundreds more as in the case of some apparel shops. Look at Downtown Downers grove, HIndsdale and other successful suburban small downtowns.
Quagmire November 03, 2012 at 11:35 AM
As far as ticketing parking violators that is just part of the deal, don't pay get a ticket, but I wish the police would enforce the 25 MPH speed limit on North Prospect between Touhy and Oakton, There is never a consistant police presence on Prospect to ticket the always speeding drivers using Prospect as an artery to get from Niles to Chicago , Niles to Uptown, and vice versa that go 40 and 45 MPH and tailgate drivers that do obey and drive 25 MPH give the finger and dangerously pass. I never see police ticketing speeders on Prospect. At best in 18 years of living in Park Ridge I have only seen police sit at Elm and Prospect a few times waiting for stop sign blowers. Police need to enforce the speeders , more revenue for the city where are they??
George K. November 03, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I have lived in Park Ridge for 10 years. I would love to see an uptown that can be as alive as Naperville. That way our children who turn into young adults, will want to stay around Park Ridge (rather then drive into the city or give their money to other suburbs) to enjoy their evenings. Businesses seeing this activity would want to open shops in the area to attract them as well as their parents. Then the extra money this will produce can go into adding the amenities that Park Ridge deserves...such as leaf pick up like so many suburbs offer (we get a ticket if we put our leaves in the street--yet we are tree city usa?) and snow removal from the sidewalks instead of the city threatening its residents with tickets if they do not shovel in front of their homes.
Pam DeFiglio November 03, 2012 at 07:18 PM
These are all really good points. Also, people from Morton Grove, Niles, Des Plaines and Harwood Heights come to Park Ridge's Uptown because you can stroll around there, browse, get a coffee, or snack or dinner and then, in summer, go to a concert or event. But these Uptown stores don't generate anywhere near the revenue of a Golf Mill.
Quagmire December 04, 2012 at 01:03 PM
They should do something to get rid of the apartment building on the northwest corner of Washington & Touhy. It is a eye sore and is not good for Park Ridge and property values.


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