Library renovation part of Sunnyland Plaza redevelopment project

By Denise Jackson

September 25, 2012 Updated Sep 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- One longtime tenant at Sunnyland Plaza takes the wrap off its new look.

The renovated Washington District Library is part of a huge redevelopment project underway.

The newly remodeled facility is the third location for Washington District Library inside Sunnyland Plaza. Doors officially opened Tuesday, during a ribbon cutting ceremony.
For the patrons and employees, it means more space.

"We even have some opportunities now with this bigger space to do some actual programming in the library. When you get 50 to 60 people together and you have no room for them obviously it's not much fun to do a program," said Washington District Library Director Pam Tomka.

The library is the first tenant to lease space on the back side of the recently renovated plaza. The $1.5 million dollar face lift began in August of last year. When it's finished, there could be room for nearly 40 businesses.

With most of the redevelopment nearly completed at Sunnyland Plaza the landlord is focusing now on bringing in new tenants.

"There's a demand for just about anything. There's no shoe stores, jewelry stores, limited grocery selections, particularly within a mile of here. Various users will have a nice fit," said Developer Ray Poe.

"With these business locations here and the easy parking right next to it instead of out in a large parking lot in the shopping area, I think they're gonna be quite full of tenants soon," said State Representative Keith Sommer.

The developer says a real catch would be an anchor store or specialty shop that could draw customers from throughout the region.

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