Could you envision a new library or community center with indoor pool on the site of the former Walmart and Cub Foods buildings on Route 14?
The new facilities could be built to overlook the scenic Three Oaks Recreation Center located south of the empty buildings, Crystal Lake-Cary Patch readers said.
Among the most popular visions: a Bass Pro Shop; Whole Foods; new Crystal Lake Public Library; Trader Joe's; indoor recreation/amusement center; boardwalk; restaurants; and boutiques.
The combined 155,000 square feet of retail space has stood vacant - the parking lot deteriorating, and weeds growing throughout - since Walmart left its 91,124 square foot location in October 2007, and moved to the new Walmart Supercenter at 1205 S. Route 31 in Crystal Lake.
The building is currently owned by JC Penney, which halted plans to open a department store there when the economy turned.
But, city leaders have had their eyes on the land, too, and have explored many possible uses for Crystal Court, said James Richter II, assistant director of economic development for the city.
In 2009, Legat Architects, of Crystal Lake, drafted two conceptual redevelopment plans for the property. One plan consists of fixing the existing building and surrounding landscape.
The Phase II plan is much more involved. Instead of the one large building, the plans call for several smaller mixed-use buildings ranging from 14,000 to 24,000 square feet. It also includes a civic center building and residential units along Three Oaks Road.
As part of the redevelopment, planners proposed extending Liberty Avenue eastward, and adding a roadway from the shopping center to the entrance of Three Oaks Recreation Center.
The attached document is a copy of the Phase II plans.