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City of Urbana wants your input regarding the Lincoln Square Mall area

Ah Lincoln Square Mall, always a hotbed of discussion in Downtown Urbana.

Here’s your chance to be heard: the City has launched “What’s in Your Square?” — which is seeking public input and feedback for the future of LSM. Here’s the survey.

From the press release:

The City of Urbana has launched an initiative to seek community input on a nine-square block area in downtown Urbana which includes the Lincoln Square mall, the now-closed Landmark Hotel, and approximately eight acres of city-owned parking lots.

Led by Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin and city staff, a visioning process dubbed “what’s in your square?” will help inform future development of the site. 

“Look around the community,” Marlin said.  “Everything you see started as someone’s idea. Bold projects start with big ideas. So, tell us what you want to see and do in this nine-square block area in downtown Urbana.”

what’s in your square?” asks the public to give their ideas via an online survey and at various community events over the next four months.  “No idea is too big or too outlandish.  We want people to think about what will serve this community for the next 50 years,” Marlin said. 

According to Mayor Marlin, “what’s in your square?” comes at a time when the site is at a critical juncture. “The mall is losing its major office tenant, the retail landscape has changed, the hotel is closed, and we need to transform this site,” Marlin said.

Marlin noted that other factors make this the right time to make over the site.  “People tell me that they want more housing in downtown Urbana and a wider variety of entertainment, restaurants, and services,” she said. “Plus, the MCORE project will rebuild Green St., making it the main connection between the U of I campus and downtown Urbana. We have to make sure there is something exciting there to attract visitors.”

Marlin noted that the initiative was inspired by her experience last fall at a workshop sponsored by  the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ and National Endowment for the Arts, Addressing Civic Challenges Through Design,  where planners and architects,  from all over the nation come together  to help mayors with urban design challenges.  

“The Lincoln Square site is a premiere location, so tell us what you envision for this site.” Marlin said. “This is the first step in developing a plan for this area.”

To hear the full Mayor’s message, go to the “what’s in your square?” video at  

For more information about “What’s in your square?” and to take the survey, visit #UrbanaSquare


Executive Editor

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