Thursday, June 20, 2019 – Oak Brook Park District Board Approves Long-Term Vision for “Central Park North Fields”
Oak Brook Park District Board of Park Commissioners unanimously approved the long-term vision for the development and improvement of the newly acquired Central Park North Fields and Central Park during the regular board meeting on Monday, June 17.
The plan was developed by Wight and Company, and incorporated resident and community input obtained through community surveys and focus groups. To provide a cohesive experience for park users and increased recreational opportunities, the plan determines projects on the new property as well as the existing portion of Central Park south of Ginger Creek.
According to Oak Brook Park District Executive Director, Laure Kosey, the plan provides guidance for the board and staff to use as they look towards the future. The park district intends to keep the lines of communication open with the community as the projects in the long-term vision are prioritized, planned, and budgeted for each year. Kosey says that all of the projects could be completed by 2030, and that the park district would not go back to referendum to ask tax payers for the money to complete the improvements.
“Oak Brook residents invested significant financial resources and trust in the acquisition of this property. We want to honor that investment by ensuring that the community’s vision for this property is included in all of our long-term planning,” says Kosey.
There are more than 20 significant projects that have been incorporated into the plan that come with a total price tag of $10-$12 million dollars. The expenses will be distributed through the operating and capital budgets through 2030. The park district plans on spending approximately $3 million on “phase 1” of the plan this year.
Phase 1 addresses the significant grading and drainage issues of the western portion of the property. It will also include the addition of a ½ mile pathway that connects to the existing system to create a continuous loop, a retention pond, the installation of two natural turf fields with LED lighting, parking, small picnic shelter, and several fitness stations.
The park district plans to program the eastern portion of the new fields in conjunction with the improvements in order to begin generating revenue needed to support the improvements.
“Our community prioritized walking paths, restrooms, and athletic field development, and we plan to work towards providing those amenities while working within our means,” says Kosey.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 – Oak Brook Park District Finalizes Purchase of McDonald's Fields
On Wed., Feb. 6, Oak Brook Park District closed on a $15.8 million purchase of the 34-acre property located at Jorie Boulevard and Kensington Road.
The property, which is currently being referred to as “Central Park North,” is now owned by the Oak Brook Park District and available for the public to use and enjoy from dawn to dusk. The park district plans to begin making improvements to the property this spring.
Oak Brook Park District Executive Director Laure Kosey says the park district is going to rely on the community to determine the official name of the park, prioritize projects, and amenities. Residents should be on the lookout for focus group invitations and surveys regarding the property. “We are excited to engage our residents to make sure we are best serving the needs of the community,” says Kosey.
Voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that allowed the park district to issue $17.9 in bonds to purchase and improve the property at the Nov. 6, 2018 election. The measure passed with 68% voter support.
Once voters ok’d the referendum, park officials sought a bond rating in order to obtain the lowest interest rates possible when issuing the voter approved bonds. On Wed., Dec. 26 the Oak Brook Park District received official notice that Moody's Investor's Service assigned the park district an Aaa rating with a stable outlook, the highest rating available. $17.9 million in bonds were issued through a competitive sale. The park district will use the remaining $2.1 million in bond proceeds to make improvements to the property over the next three years.
According to Oak Brook Park District Park Board President, Sharon Knitter, the board and staff are looking forward to working with the community to develop creative plans for the property. “We were thrilled to receive such strong direction from our residents and we are happy to preserve and improve this open recreational space in ways that align with their vision for Oak Brook,” says Knitter.
Check back frequently for project updates.
November 7, 2018 Oak Brook Park District Open Space Referendum Passes
While the results are preliminary, it appears that the referendum to acquire the McDonald’s Fields has passed. The referendum’s success enables the Park District to advance in its mission to provide the very best in park and recreational opportunities and open lands for our community.
The Park District would like first to express its gratitude to the voters for supporting this important referendum on open space. We would also like to extend a special thank-you to each of those committed community members who took an active role in supporting the referendum, and to the many residents who attended our open houses to learn more. The vote demonstrates our residents’ continuing commitment to meet the essential recreational needs of our community, and to maintain Oak Brook’s exceptional quality of life for generations to come.
The Park District plans to begin its efforts to acquire the McDonald’s Fields immediately. Please look for project updates here, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Past Open Houses
Starting on September 12, residents are invited to join the Oak Brook Park District at a series of open houses in advance of the November 6 referendum seeking to acquire the 34-acre parcel known as McDonald’s Fields. Voters attending an open house can learn more, provide feedback, and ask park district staff and commissioners questions regarding the measure prior to the election.
Open House Dates:
Wednesday, September 12 from 4-7pm
Thursday, October 18 from 4-7pm
Monday, November 5 from 11:30am-5pm
Open House Location:
Family Recreation Center
1450 Forest Gate Road
Oak Brook, IL