Utica outdoor retail plaza aiming for late spring, early summer opening

Construction could begin by Dec. 1

This parcel has been vacant nearly 18 years, but could get jump-started if Utica gets a $1 million-plus grant. The village plans an outdoor market with portable retail stalls, which has worked well (and profitably) for Batavia.

A timeline has emerged for constructing the portable retail stalls slated for the vacant lot at the north end of Mill Street in Utica.

Utica Mayor David Stewart said though the village still is waiting for a grant agreement, the village can begin the design phase and so tabbed Village Engineer Kevin Heitz to design the outdoor plaza. The design will be complete by Oct. 1, with bids in hand Nov. 1 and construction to begin Dec. 1.

Stewart said the construction timeline itself is uncertain – “Maybe we’ll get lucky and have a mild winter” – but there is no scenario where the plaza is operating in time for the 2023 holiday shopping season. Instead, the village is shooting for late spring, early summer 2024.

Additionally, the village announced the return of the Corn Roast, which debuted last year, and approved a street closure for the festival.

The corn roast will 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 14, and is sponsored by two businesses, Bruce & Ollie’s and Country Kids Produce. The board agreed to the closure of Church Street from Mill to Vine streets from 4 to 9 p.m.

In other matters, the board:

Approved the purchase of a 2014 Vactor truck in an amount not to exceed $140,000.

Pledged financial support for the forthcoming Junior Ranger Day (tentatively set for Aug. 3) sponsored by the village and La Salle County Historical Society.

Is mulling over improvements to the village’s water towers, to be discussed at the next committee meeting.