Grand, Harlem improvements get approval in Elmwood Park
The village will be redeveloping this corner with new sidewalks, lighting and a fountain are just a few of the improvements to take place there as part of its Streetscape Improvement Program./Photo by David Pollard
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:13AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Major thoroughfares leading to Elmwood Park will soon get a face-lift.
Elmwood Park trustees have approved work on the village’s Streetscape Improvement Plan in the area of Grand and Harlem avenues.
Village Manager Paul Volpe said initial improvements to sidewalks will begin within the next few weeks. The improvements will be done on the west side of Harlem Avenue between Fullerton and Wrightwood avenues and the north side of Grand Avenue between Harlem and 73rd avenues.
The sidewalk improvements in the two areas should be completed this year, but will be the base for major improvements slated for the spring. One of the major improvements will be on the northwest corner of Grand and Harlem avenues.
Caputo’s Fresh Market, 2400 N. Harlem Ave., which takes up a portion of that northwest corner, has provided the village with an easement to make streetscape improvements. With the added space, the village plans to put in an electronic sign, a gateway sign and fountain at the location, along with raised planters and decorative brick along the walkway.
Another major improvement will take place at the northwest corner of Harlem and Fullerton avenues. Improvements call for a bench, planter and a monument with the village’s medallion included. New black powder-coated light poles will be installed throughout the area.
Some will have an ornamental pedestrian light and others will have a decorative Elmwood Park street light medallion. New electrical wiring will be installed between the new light poles.
The project will cost $996,000 and will be paid with tax increment finance money. The total project should be completed by April 2013.
Elmwood Park Village President Peter Silvestri said the improvements will beautify the area and attract new businesses. The village will soon demolish older buildings it owns on the south side of Grand Avenue to make way for new development.
“I think it shows a continuing commitment of the redevelopment of that area,” he said. “The streetscape is going to beautify that area, which means it will beautify the community.”
Jonathan Zivojnovic, president of the Mont Clare-Elmwood Park Chamber of Commerce, said he and his fellow members are excited about the improvements.
“If it looks as good on paper as it does in person, it will be awesome,” he said.