VIDEO: Bicentennial Plaza on Jackson Street

Illinois REALTORS® and the City of Springfield have joined together in a REALTOR®/Community partnership to transform two parking lots on the Illinois REALTORS® property into a pedestrian plaza in celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial in 2018.

To learn more, watch this video:

28 local REALTOR association ‘legacy projects’ identified for the Illinois Bicentennial celebrations

Chicago REALTORS Sonia Anaya and Zeke Morris, members of the Illinois Bicentennial Task Force, show off the bicentennial selfie sticks available through the Illinois REALTORS Bicentennial store.

“Not only do we dream big but we come through in a big way,” said Bicentennial Task Force Chair Vicky Turner, of Dixon, Tuesday at the Illinois REALTORS® June Business Meetings in Springfield.

Illinois REALTORS® are planning “legacy projects” across the state including “adopting” a historic home or property in our local REALTOR® association communities as well as downtown Springfield, in the block shared by the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters.

Our theme “Illinois REALTORS®, working with heart in every community” underscores how REALTORS® are leaders in their local communities, supporting local charities and causes, promoting economic development and a strong economy all while helping real estate buyers and sellers achieve the American Dream.

“Our advocacy efforts have earned us a good name,” said Jim Kinney of Chicago, a task force member and a member of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. “The Bicentennial project fits our mission so well. I love our mission statement, ‘Illinois REALTORS® — working with heart in every community.’ Our efforts will open doors. The outreach will last a lot longer than our initial efforts.”

While sharing a description of community historical projects that local associations have identified, task force Vice Chair Sheryl Grider Whitehurst of Peoria says REALTORS® represent citizens who have enthusiasm for the communities they live. “There are people who are proud of Illinois. This is our home state and we’re proud to take care of it,” she stated.

Illinois REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer Gary Clayton gave an update on the The Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Project, which is expected to be completed summer 2018, the same time as the Governor’s Mansion Restoration project.  The Plaza has been designated a “Legacy Project” by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which oversees the state’s plans for the milestone birthday. When completed summer 2018, the Plaza will feature historical murals depicting the history of the Civil Rights Movement, history of Illinois Executive Mansions and the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

“This plaza will be a significant landmark for Springfield,” Clayton said.

The Illinois State Bicentennial officially begins on Dec. 3, 2017 with kick-off events in Springfield and Chicago. Dec. 3 marks the day in 1818 that Illinois became the 21st state in the Union.

“The rest of this year and 2018 will be an exciting time for our association,” said Grider-Whitehurst.
Follow the latest bicentennial news by following the state Bicentennial Facebook page and the Ilinois Realtors Bicentennial Facebook page. Use the hashtags #illinoisproud and #REALTORSworkingwithHeart.

REALTOR®-branded state bicentennial items now available

Show pride in your state, your community and your profession by purchasing T-shirts, yard signs, decals, banners and more that celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial through the NAR REALTOR® Team Store.

These items feature the theme “Illinois REALTORS® working with heart in every community.” It is a feel-good theme that will be celebrated across the state from now through 2018.

Available items include:

  • Logo decals,
  • Yard signs,
  • X-frame banners,
  • T-shirts,
  • Heart pins and
  • Selfie signs.

Find out more about how the association will be celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial by visiting this page.

Illinois REALTORS® are planning projects across the state including “adopting” a historic home or property in our local REALTOR® association communities as well as downtown Springfield, in the block shared by the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters.

REALTORS® will partner with local community groups and state and local agencies to help identify and develop the projects. The association is a partner with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which oversees the state’s plans for the milestone birthday. For updates, LIKE us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/REALTORSCelebrateIllinoisBicentennial. Follow and tag #REALTORSworkingwithHeart. Learn more www.illinoisrealtors.org/bicentennial.

Final paperwork clears way for start of Bicentennial Plaza project

A memorandum of understanding was signed on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, between Illinois REALTORS® and the city of Springfield for the REALTORS® Bicentennial Plaza project. From left to right are Springfield City Clerk Frank Lesko, Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton and Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. (Photo: Jon Broadbooks)

Springfield city officials and Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday which clears the way for construction of the REALTORS® Bicentennial Plaza.

The Springfield City Council approved $1 million in Tax Increment Financing funding for the project on March 21, and the memorandum signed Wednesday spells out the guidelines the city and the association will abide by as the property is developed and used.

On hand for the signing in addition to Clayton were Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder and Springfield Clerk Frank Lesko.

The plaza will be located on the north side of the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters on South Fifth Street on association-owned land. Once completed, the plaza is expected to become part of a revitalized area extending from the Lincoln Home National Historic Site to the state Capitol.

The signing took place at the association’s headquarters in a conference room overlooking the area to be redeveloped.