STURTEVANT — Twenty-one people volunteered several hours of their time Wednesday at the Sturtevant Village Hall to help reimagine the village’s Durand Avenue (Highway 11) corridor.
The charrette, or collaborative workshop, was led by Jacob Blue and Bruce Morrow of Ayres Associates, within a Sturtevant Community Development Authority meeting also attended by several village trustees and other village residents.
The three study planning areas were:
- The 11.3-acre Cobble Court on the north side of Durand Avenue across from Farm & Fleet, considered a “gateway site”
- The 1-acre former U.S. Bank site at the northeast corner of Durand Avenue and Wisconsin Street, another gateway site
- Durand Avenue
Much of the Durand Avenue corridor lies within Sturtevant’s newest tax increment district, and that area is a high village priority for upgrading and redevelopment.
The design session will help Ayres develop a preferred conceptual plan for the two gateway sites, Blue said.
The event was also meant to help develop a “theming” for Durand Avenue that will be incorporated into the village’s land use plan, Morrow and Blue said.
The Cobble Court area in particular is wide open for how it can be developed, Blue said, including the addition of new roads.
“There’s a lot you can do there,” he said.
After introducing the project, Blue and Morrow led a visual preference survey with a packet passed out to all participants. It contained, page after page, nine to 12 photos of a category such as gateway features, community and welcome centers, restaurants and coffee shops, outdoor gathering spaces and streetscapes.
After everyone indicated their favorites on their own sheets, there was a group discussion of each category. There was a recurring preference for wooden or brick buildings, especially those that were warmly lit or had awnings and ample greenery.
The group mostly shied away from anything looking urban or modern.
“I don’t think we’re going to be all glass and steel,” CDA member Michelle Strauss commented.
Most buildings that participants liked best were just one or two stories.
“I think three stories is pretty much our limit,” CDA member Sean Weiss said.
“It’s going to be tough for a hotel not to come in at three or four stories,” Blue said. “They’re going to want four stories.”
Most participants also liked wide sidewalks.
Blue said Ayres will come back in two to four weeks with drawings for the village to review and respond to. After one more round of revisions, the process should produce the preferred conceptual plans for the gateway sites and land use plan for Durand Avenue.