NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Plans are moving forward on further developing Uptown Normal, a public feedback meeting taking place virtually Thursday night.

The virtual meeting released some of the things more than 800 respondents to a public survey are hoping to see in uptown south. Key wants include green space, a grocery store and entertainment.

Normal leaders are one step closer to crafting a plan for the development of uptown south after holding a public feedback meeting Thursday night. Mercy Davison the town planner said it gives staff a better idea of how to move forward.

“Whether people wanted to see different types of open spaces, if it were commercial what kind of businesses would there be, if it were residential,” Davison said.

Davison said a public survey released two weeks ago was responded to by over 800 residents and responses were given to planners.

“The planning consultant, Farr Associates took all that feedback into account and came up with three very general conceptual plans for the area,” Davison said.

The town, Farr Associates, and community members discussed the pros and cons of each plan.

“They had different positioning of buildings in relation to the underpass to take advantage of that space,” Davison said.

Speaking of the underpass, the council is being asked Monday night to approve a funding agreement with IDOT; the agency is looking to give the town almost $5 million to put toward the project.

“So the funding will be specifically for preliminary engineering and detailed engineering or what we Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project,” said engineer and public works director for the Town, Ryan Otto.

Otto said inflation could cause the price tag for the underpass project to be higher than originally expected.

“We don’t know exactly how that’s going to affect the project, that will depend on the conditions when the project goes out to bid, but additional funding is helpful and appreciated,” Otto said.

Davison said Uptown South and the underpass are two separate projects but work best together.

“Clearly the success of Uptown is something that’s well regarded by many and we see with the underpass construction that success spilling over to the south,” Davison said.

Davison said there’s still about half a year left of planning for uptown south, so it’s not a guarantee every ‘want’ gets included in final plans. She said there will be at least two more public input meetings.

Otto said they hope to bid on the underpass project by January.

The full meeting and presentations of the project can be viewed on the Town of Normal YouTube page.