174 175 trying to improve. Route 30 and Broadway are what our façade improvement program was designed for. There are a lot of older businesses that could use exterior improvements. That’s the purpose behind the program, to spruce up these corridors and make them more modern, instead of the rundown buildings you see in other com- munities.We’re trying to make it marketable; when people drive through here, they’ll know it’s Crest Hill. That’s the main goal for me from an economic development standpoint.” Broadway, on historic Route 66, is the city’s old- est commercial corridor, and primed for redevel- opment. The plan is to adopt the vintage theme of old-school Route 66, with mechanic shops and businesses related to the automobile and truck- ing industries. Plainfield Road does have build- ings with apartments above them.When the road was widened from two lanes to four, a few years back, it cut into many of the properties, creating challenges that need to be overcome. The city is now working with businesses regarding parking issues and making sure it’s safe for customers to walk into the stores, since the sidewalks were eliminated. McMaster believes communication is key to the city’s future success. “Crest Hill is an up and com- ing community with good things going on.We have brand recognition in Amazon that’s going to attract a lot of attention to our city. As a work- ing-class community, it’s a huge deal for us. On a different note, we have the oldest restaurant in Will County, Merichka’s Restaurant, still running strong. And we have people constantly calling us looking for development opportunities here. I think we’ve been doing the right thing to get the word out; making sure we communicate to our residents and businesses that we want them to grow and succeed with the city. I’ve been here two years and we’ve gotten a lot of things done. Being the underdog standing next to Chicago and its suburbs – it’s fun. The three-to-five-year plan is going to be exciting for Crest Hill!” CREST HILL, ILLINOIS people. And that’s just in the business park. Crest Hill also has a major shopping center with a grocery store, Payless, Harbor Freight Tools, and Charter Fitness, among others. McMaster adds, “We’re presently working on an economic development incentive and policy plan that includes a façade program to help existing businesses. It will offer the opportunity to come up with a plan to improve your building exterior, and have the city pay some of the costs. Unfortunately, Crest Hill doesn’t have a downtown core.We are considering the idea of buying some land, and developing a city center where we can do bigger events, and have a park area, a band shell, etc. that will allow us to bring more people into the city. “Our three commercial corridors are on the cusp of breaking through. Broadway is our oldest commercial corridor; we’re going to be doing a lot of redevelopment there.Weber Road is a priority, that’s our major corridor that shoots up all the way from Joliet to Bolingbrook. It currently houses a Menards, and the Ricky Rockets will be a little further north. I call it an empty canvas because there is a lot of improved land ready that developers can get started on almost immediately. “Our Route 30/Plainfield Road corridor is another we’re PREFERRED VENDOR n PMA Securities, Inc.