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The Lakota Group

Since 1993, The Lakota Group has been providing creative and innovative planning and design solutions to public and private sector clients throughout the U.S. With projects in urban, suburban, and rural settings, the firm has consistently built a reputation for quality professional services that are responsive to the distinct character of individual communities and environments.

The firm's work often involves extensive interaction with government officials, civic leaders, community residents, institutions, developers, landowners, businesses and consultants. It is this direct hands-on approach that is essential to Lakota's commitment to planning, designing, and creating high-quality built and natural environments.

In its first 16 years, Lakota completed more than 650 projects and consulting assignments in over 200 towns and cities involving 60,000 acres of land, 50,000 units of housing, and 55 million square feet of building space. Projects have included comprehensive community plans, parks and plazas, trails and greenways, waterfronts and river corridors, traditional downtown and urban neighborhood districts, commercial corridors, town centers, transit-oriented developments, industrial and business parks, corporate campuses, medical districts, mixed-use developments, and an 8,000-acre new town.

Lakota has recently expanded its work portfolio to include complete historic preservation planning and main street commercial district revitalization. The Lakota staff has traveled around the country providing main street consultation services to more than 100 communities throughout the Midwest and across the nation.

Uptown Redevelopment Plan, Master Plan & Streetscape/ Signage Design, Park Ridge, Ill.

Lakota prepared a master plan and site/streetscape/signage design as a member of a developer team selected by the city of Park Ridge for a key multi-block area in its uptown district. The plan addresses the pedestrian-oriented, downtown character of the district by framing street walls with first-floor retail and upper-story residential uses. The streetscape design, including new lighting, site furniture, and paving materials, sets the theme for future redevelopment efforts throughout uptown. Design elements reflect the Art Deco architecture of the Pickwick Theater, a historic focal building in the heart of the Uptown district.

Lakota also created redevelopment and streetscape design concepts for the City Commons, which is uptown's central open space, a library complex, and adjacent blocks.

Lakota received an award from the Illinois chapter of the American Planning Association for the uptown redevelopment.

Southgate on the Glen, Master Plan & Landscape Design, Glenview, Ill.

Southgate on The Glen is the premier single-family neighborhood within the overall redevelopment of the former Glenview Naval Air Station. Its master plan organizes 237 single-family homes and 62 row homes/stacked villas around pocket greens, active and passive parks, and The Glen Club, a new links-style golf course designed by Tom Fazio. The landscape plan unifies the site by taking advantage of existing vegetation and views to the golf course, while establishing a traditional neighborhood setting.

E.R. James Partners also retained Lakota to design the landscape for each single-family home site. This approach helped ensure conformance with Glenview's Airbase Design Guidelines and enhanced the quality and sustainability of the development's landscape character. Southgate on The Glen received a Silver Key Award for Best Overall Suburban Community.

Lockport Street Design, Plainfield, Ill.

Lakota is leading a village design team to revitalizd Lockport Street, Plainfield's main commercial corridor. The streetscape design focuses on rejuvenating this historic main street with a rich variety of materials and flexible outdoor gathering spaces. The design includes natural stone walls, brick paving, new site furniture and lighting, raised speed tables at intersections, new plantings and street trees, and custom signage and way finding elements. The village plans on extending the design character and materials of Lockport Street throughout the downtown area.

Crow Island/Hubbard Woods/Willowwood Nursery Schools Outdoor Learning Environment Design, Winnetka, Ill.

The historic Crow Island School, built in 1937 by world-renowned architects Eero Saarinen and Larry Perkins, needed an outdoor kindergarten play area that met today's safety and accessibility standards. Lakota's design preserved mature trees and a butterfly garden. Amenities include natural material play equipment, a spring-post apparatus, swings, interactive gardens, butterfly-shaped sand play area, shed/playhouse and bike path. Lakota assisted the Hubbard Woods school staff and PTA with developing a unique outdoor learning environment for grades K-4. The theme is the Great Lakes region. Lakota decreased the amount of impermeable surface and reorganized the play equipment. The site is organized into Entrance and Gathering Space, River and Swamp, Pirate Ship in Harbor and Castle and Medieval Town Square.

Marion Street, Oak Park, Ill.

Lakota led a village design team to revitalize the deteriorated Marion Street pedestrian mall in the center of historic downtown Oak Park. The plan opens the mall to two-way traffic and links it to the small-scale shops along a new pedestrian-friendly Westgate Terrace. The design included natural stone sidewalks and brick street paving, new custom site furnishings, a central water feature, new plantings, irrigation, custom lighting, graywater storage beneath the street and heating mats under the sidewalk. Lakota received an award for plan implementation from the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association and an honorable mention from the Congress for the New Urbanism Illinois Chapter for the Marion Street project.

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November 20, 2019, 2:32 pm PDT

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