Welcome to Normal
We look forward to seeing you in Uptown Normal for the 2015 APA-IL State Planning Conference this October. So much has happened in Uptown since we last hosted the conference in 2010! Most significantly, Uptown Station is open for business. The facility houses the second busiest Amtrak station in Illinois (only a block from the Marriott Hotel), a major hub for local buses, a regional bus stop, and Town of Normal administrative offices. In addition, Illinois State University opened an art gallery nearby, a new Hyatt Hotel is under construction across from the Marriott, and the Town has been designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists!
We’re fortunate to be able to use the Marriott Hotel and the Carol Reitan Conference Center for our annual event. It’s an outstanding facility, located in the midst of a vibrant and historic commercial center and adjacent to the beautiful Illinois State University campus. Within a three block radius, conference attendees can enjoy a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities. Bring the kids, and you can walk down to the Town’s very popular Children’s Discovery Museum or attend a movie at the historic Normal Theater. If conference attendees want to hop onto a local bus or stroll down the Constitution Trail, there are also many great businesses in our sister city Bloomington’s historic downtown.
Not content with what has been accomplished, the Town Council is now undertaking the “Uptown 2.0” planning process. With the guidance of planning consultant Doug Farr of Farr Associates, the Town is evaluating the outcomes of the 2000 Uptown Plan and determining how to expand the plan into areas adjacent to Uptown.
With all of the planning underway, it seems like the perfect time to host the state planning conference in Uptown Normal! The conference will offer a diverse mixture of sessions and mobile workshops that touch on issues of local, regional, and national significance. Social events will provide opportunities for networking and relationship-building. And there will be many chances to earn CM credits!
We look forward to meeting all of you this October!
Phil Dick, AICP, Director Mercy Davison, AICP, Town Planner
McLean County Dept. of Building and Zoning Town of Normal, IL