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Village Comprehensive Plan on course

Partnerships Strengthening Community:  The Village of Maywood
and the Maywood Community Development Corp. offer residents,
businesses low-interest improvement program to boost development.

By L. NICOLE TROTTIE
Publisher
July 23, 2009

For those interested in sprucing up their building façade the Village
of Maywood and the Maywood Community Development
Corporation have implemented a program for commercial property
and business owners to help set the wheels in motion.  

The Façade Grant Program is an essential tool to assist both
commercial property owners and commercial tenants located within
the Maywood Commercial Corridors of Fifth Avenue or Lake Street
make improvements to their property.

With the passage of the Maywood new Comprehensive Plan last
year, the Façade Grant Program is poised to assist commercial
owners and commercial tenants in the upkeep with the revitalization
of the village, according to Mayor Henderson Yarbrough Sr.

The program makes use of TIF funds to financially assist
businesses with the capital improvement of masonry, carpentry,
windows doors, awning and signage to name a few.  The program is
one of two economic stimulus components on the Village’s course to
economic development.

Local improvement, big focus

Residents have most certainly been detoured by the dirt flying on
Fifth Ave and Madison and Lake Street’s.  The renovations have all
been a part of the ambitious 2009 Capital Improvement Plan. Nearly
$9 million in improvements are underway to complete the new
roadways, lighting, storm sewers, sidewalks and water mains
downtown on Fifth Ave.  

The project improvements, according to Village Manager, Jason
Ervin, run from Quincy to Lake Street and utilize capital dollars, not
village operating funds.  Other improvements include the
resurfacing of all of Madison Street within village boundaries and a
$1 million Lake Street improvement project.

‘MCDC key component’

The MCDC, incorporated in 2005 as a non-profit, is a consortium of
local banks that serve as a catalyst for economic development in
Maywood.  Through the village’s partnership with MCDC the grant
portion of the façade program is made available to commercial
property owners and commercial tenants, whereby, businesses and
the Village of Maywood split the capital improvements cost 50-50
that qualify under the program.

The overall improvements guided by the Comprehensive Plan have
laid the groundwork for Maywood’s revitalization, according to Mayor
Yarbrough.  Yarbrough sees the Façade Grant Program as a key
component to assist the Village’s improvement plans.

“The Maywood Village administration is on task and thrilled about
the cooperative effort with the MCDC and the potential economic
prospects for renewal in Maywood,” Yarbrough said.  

Joseph Hogan, First Suburban National Bank, President and CEO in
Maywood and MCDC, Chairman, says that business people pushing
forward to get low-interest loans to upgrade their facades would be
a good thing to do now.  In light of the current recessionary times,
the Village exercising prudent planning makes sense.

“You can always look at what is the best way to regenerate the local
economy of a town – we successfully did on Madison Street in
Forest Park – and there are always discussions about if you should
focus on one particular place and radiate out from there,” says
Donald Offermann, another MCDC member and Forest Park
National Bank and Trust, Senior Vice President of Business
Development.  

“Everyone has pretty much settled that a real target for
redevelopment is Fifth Avenue because many people, including me,
remember when Fifth Avenue was a very robust business district.  
There is no reason why it should not be able to return to that,”
added Offermann about the façade programs focus.

Residential component

For any resident seeking to improve their home façade, the Village
of Maywood and MCDC also offer a program to assist in making
exterior improvements.

Like the Façade Grant Program, the Code Compliance Program
assists residents in violation of code ordinance by offering low-
interest loans.  The Code Compliance Program is integral to the
Comprehensive and Façade Program’s in that it adds the residential
component to help preserve and enhance the appearance and
safety of the community, according to Hogan.

“The increase in the value of residential property through low-
interest loans from the local banks is a win-win for the residents and
the village,” said Chris Donovan another MCDC member and
Maywood-based Park Bank Initiative, Project Manager.

The village-wide success of the residential Code Compliance
Program, says Hogan, is not about a code officer handing out
citations to residents.  It is first about a proactive approach to make
exterior and safety improvements and secondly it is about local
banks assisting residents with citations to ensure that the home
repair work is done properly and within code compliance.

“We are working with village employees to get the word out about
the Code Compliance Program,” added Hogan.  Members of the
MCDC, Steve Fox of First Suburban National Bank and Donald
Higgins of Park National Bank, continue to hold educational
meetings to residents about the program.

Maywood residents and commercial businesses seeking information
about the Façade Grant and Code Compliance Program’s may
contact the Village of Maywood or the MCDC at (708)450-4100 or
(708)345-8707.

Contributions to this article made by Wednesday Journal
Street improvements along
Madison Street and 17th Ave