Bristol Place Phase II Steering Committee
The Bristol Place Phase II Steering Committee, Neighborhood Services Advisory Board Members and Douglass Park/Beardsley Park leaders were invited to attend a two-part meeting on Thursday, February 2 at the Douglass Branch Library. The first hour of the meeting included a presentation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Professor Klara Nahrstedt (Principal Investigator) regarding possible grant funding from the National Science Foundation for smart and connected communities. Professor Nahrstedt was joined by several colleagues during the question/answer portion of the meeting.
The project could benefit the Bristol Place redevelopment. The grant includes installing smart infrastructure to provide safety alerts to partners and participants, education/training on cybersecurity for residents and creating public safe spaces (both online and physical). The Bristol Place Phase II Steering Committee members asked questions and provided input to the UIUC team regarding safety concerns with infrastructure. Key areas of concern included the desire for an increased number of security cameras, preferably mounted high and indestructible, in addition to concerns about the data collected being hacked. The team is seeking the maximum grant award of $5 million and will submit the grant application in mid-February to the National Science Foundation. Grant awards are anticipated in approximately six months for approximately 2-3 projects in the country.
The second part of the meeting introduced AHDVS, LLC, to the Bristol Place Phase II Steering Committee. Mr. Jim Roberts and members of the development team shared their vision for creating a community of choice in Bristol Place and answered questions from the neighbors and steering committee. The steering committee asked for more information going forward about job training opportunities for local residents. Members of the steering committee also sought information regarding people returning to Bristol that are displaced and how AHDVS would address crime and safety. The AHDVS team discussed residents having the first right to return if they meet the tenant selection criteria, for example. In addition to emphasizing the community of choice aspect of their vision, which encourages residents to take pride and ownership in their environment, the AHDVS team discussed how they have addressed crime and safety concerns in their existing developments.
Both of these agenda items were also presented to City Council on February 7,: AHDVS, LLC as the master developer for Bristol Place was approved 8-0 and the UIUC Smart and Connected Cities post-Council Study Session was favorably received by City Council.