During the late 1980’s, the City of Joliet developed a downtown revitalization strategy to take advantage of its riverfront location and existing investments in the city center. The resulting Joliet City Center Development Plan was designed to take advantage of the area’s existing physical assets. These assets include the Bicentennial Park on the canal/riverfront, and architecturally and historically significant structures such as the Rialto Square Theater. The Plan articulated the need for a major downtown entertainment attraction, common streetscapes throughout the area, and visible gateways into the city center.
Major aspects of the Plan have already been implemented. Construction has been completed on the Harrah’s Casino Pavilion and Hotel, riverwalk promenades, the Freedom Court Building, and a wing extension of the Joliet Public Library. In addition, there have been renovations to several downtown commercial structures and extension of common streetscapes, brickpaver sidewalks, and historic street lighting throughout the City Center. Due to City Center development over $128 million in property valuation has been added to downtown Joliet.
As the county seat, Joliet’s City Center continues to serve as an administrative and service center. The City Center offers a convenient location for many law offices, title insurance companies, and banking facilities.
An expanding local economy and attractive riverfront locations underscore the potential for downtown residential development. A recent study indicates that the Joliet City Center residential market could support 1,100 new housing units'. Local officials are currently marketing prime City Center property for residential development. For more information visit jolietdowntown.com.
The City Center Partnership has developed an online monthly newsletter that promotes City Center events as well as specials from downtown restaurants and businesses. You can sign up to receive this newsletter by visiting jolietdowntown.com.