Archives for December 2012

Celebrate 15 Years of DNA with 2013 Membership and an iPad2

There are great things happening in downtown Elgin and the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin is at the heart of it all!

The DNA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization focused on enhancing the economic vitality of downtown Elgin through promotions, special events, economic development and historic preservation. DNA utilizes the National Main Street’s 4-Point Approach to downtown revitalization and is a designated Illinois Main Street Community.

Membership is a critical component of our organization’s annual funding and long-term financial stability. Our members help us to carry out the DNA’s mission of advocating for and revitalizing downtown Elgin.

Top 10 Reasons to Support the Organization that Supports Downtown Elgin in 2013

1. Business Recruitmenthelped nearly 20 new or relocated businesses open their doors in downtown Elgin this year to support economic growth and a diversified tax base

2. Design Servicesbegan the process of developing a set of Downtown Design Guidelines and creation of a National Register district of historically contributing downtown buildings to take advantage of federal and state rehabilitation tax credits

3. Downtown Revitalization – educated the community about the value of a thriving downtown and DNA’s role in the process through public meetings, speaking engagements and Downtown Brainstorms

4. Economic Restructuring – administered City economic assistance programs for the Central Business District including Projecting Sign and Facade Improvement grant programs

5. Engagement & Communications – launched brand new website with updated content, more intuitive Events Calendar and interactive content; increased our weekly Downtown Neighborhood News Top 10 subscriber list to over 6,000 recipients

6. Historic Preservation – worked with downtown property owners to improve appearance and marketability of buildings while maintaining their historic integrity

7. Marketing & Promotions – grew the organization’s reach with engaging traditional and social media promotions such as Downtown Madness, Elgin Eat 16, Taste-N-Tweets and other marketing campaigns

8. Member & Community Partnerships – enhanced existing and new relationships with community partners via Elgin Home for the Holidays; promoted well over 1,000 member, City and other downtown events via our various communication resources

9. Special Events – organized a slate of community enriching downtown special events of all sizes from monthly Out to Lunch events to our weekly Harvest Market to the annual 4th of July Parade and more

10. Volunteer Services – well over 1,500 man hours invested into downtown Elgin events, committees and other downtown programming

Need one more reason to join as a DNA Member in 2013? Okay, how does ringing in the New Year with a brand new iPad 2 sound?

Now through January 14, 2013, join or renew your DNA Individual Membership for $30/annually or Family Membership for $50/annually and you will be entered into a drawing to win a new iPad 2 (16MB, WiFi) as well as other great prizes throughout the holiday season!


iPad Drawing Rules and Restrictions: iPad drawing to be conducted on January 16, 2013 and will consist of one entry per each new and renewing 2013 DNA Individual and Family Members who sign up between November 7, 2012 thru January 14, 2013. Downtown Business, Property Owner and Community Business Members are not part of the iPad drawing – Individual and Family Members ONLY!

Win This Window People’s Choice Winner Announced

Congratulations to Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog Insurance and Boy Scouts Troop 10 for being selected by the voting public as the Win This Window People’s Choice winner. For their efforts the Boy Scouts will receive a $128 donation from the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

In total, over $300 was raised for 10 area non-profits from the Win This Window People’s Choice Award voting. Each of the non-winners will receive the proceeds from each of the votes cast.

Following the voting process, winners were drawn from the votes cast for each of the 10 Win This Window gift baskets. The winners were as follows:

Tom Vesely – Elgin Junior Service Board (O-201), Elgin Citizens Police Academy (O-203) and St. Edward’s Boys Bowling Team (O-205)
Amy Ribbon – NENA (O-205), Senior Services Associates (B-108)
Jan Jones – Boy Scouts Troup 10 (B-105)
Denise Joehl – Stronger for Women (B-106)
Judy Brown – Fox Valley Pregnancy Center (O-207)
Mark Preradovic – Gifford Park Association (O-208)
Kristen Anderson – Habitat for Humanity ReStore (B-114)

Thanks to all of the downtown businesses and Elgin non-profits who participated in the Win This Window People’s Choice and to all of you for supporting your favorite windows and non-profits.

Click here to see all of the decorated windows from Window Wonderland 2012 >

Open for Business: Downtown Elgin Grub Crawl

It’s not New Year’s resolution time just yet so loosen your belts and bring your appetites as the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) of Elgin officially welcomes seven new restaurants to our downtown with another installment of our award-winning Open for Business progressive ribbon cuttings aptly titled the Downtown Elgin Grub Crawl.

Over the next two weeks, we invite the public to come for a ribbon cutting with the business owners, staff, DNA board members and other Elgin dignitaries at a different new downtown restaurant each day and then stay to enjoy lunch or dinner to get to know your newest downtown neighbors.

The Downtown Elgin Grub Crawl schedule is as follows:

Updated Grub Crawl Ribbon Cutting Schedule

Monday, December 10, Noon
In the Neighborhood Fresh
Gail Borden Public Library
270 N. Grove Avenue

Tuesday, December 11, Noon
On the Side Restaurant
74 S. Grove Avenue

Wednesday, December 12, 6PM
Danny’s on Douglas
231 Douglas Avenue

Thursday, December 13, Noon
La Erencia de mis Padres
165 E. Highland Avenue

Monday, December 17, 8AM
M Squared Bakery
National Street Metra Station

Friday, December 21, 4PM
Chooch’s Pizza
64 S. Grove Avenue

Friday, December 21, 5PM
Mr. Tequila’s
51 S. Grove Avenue

Check out the highlights of the Downtown Elgin Grub Crawl Ribbon Cuttings to date >

As a tasty incentive, the DNA is also offering a punchcard promotion where guests who attend at least five of the seven Grub Crawl ribbon cuttings will be eligible for a drawing for $50 in Downtown Elgin gift certificates. Punchcards will be available at the DNA office, 2 Douglas Avenue, beginning Monday, December 10 or at any of the ribbon cuttings.

The DNA launched the Open for Business in Downtown Elgin progressive ribbon cuttings in April to welcome eight new businesses that had opened their doors in the first quarter of 2012. In late June, the DNA revived Open for Business to honor one of downtown’s newest businesses, Soulful Sparrow, and one of downtown’s most tenured businesses, Central Barber Shop.

This past September, DNA’s Open for Business in Downtown Elgin progressive ribbon cuttings were honored with a Lt. Governor’s Award for Main Street Revitalization for Outstanding Economic Development program at the Illinois Main Street Conference and Awards Dinner in Quincy, IL.

Watch a video recap of the April Open for Business in Downtown Elgin progressive ribbon cuttings on YouTube:

Window Wonderland Judging Results Announced

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Saturday, December 1 for our 14th Annual Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland – presented by Waste Management and BMO Harris Bank. It was a beautiful day in downtown Elgin!

The Window Wonderland window decorating contest winners as determined by our judging panel of Crysta Anderson, Mike Butirro of Chooch’s Pizza, Tom Creighton of On the Side Restaurant and Councilmembers Anna Moeller and Tish Powell, are as follows:


YWCA Elgin
220 E. Chicago Street


Razor’s Edge
55 Douglas Avenue



Elgin Knit Works
17 N. Grove Avenue

Soulful Sparrow
10 Douglas Avenue

Our two category winners will each receive $50 in downtown Elgin gift certificates. Our two Best Overall windows will split a $300 prize! Congratulations to all of our Window Wonderland winners!

Remember you can still vote for your favorites in the Win This Window People’s Choice Award voting thru Wednesday, December 12.


Riverside Drive Promenade Update

The Riverside Drive Promenade Project is pleased to announce that the last of the driven pile was installed this morning. The equipment is being demobilized and roadway will be slightly reconfigured for the concrete operations but access along Riverside will remain as currently set.

Thank you all for your patience during this noisy period of construction.