Working on the television commercial for Town Square to be broadcast on MediaCom in several cities has made me more aware of how strong a retail area the district is, and how much stronger it can be.
The big square area, where the pavilion is, needs work. Some visual center. The Pavilion should have a name or signage of some kind. As is, it's just a pleasant open space with a shelter and plenty of parking, and the train tracks cutting the square in half.
Why doesn't the City move the Amtrak station THERE? It would free up the space on Illinois Ave. for commercial development. Remember: the Amtrak Station where it is currently located (across the street from the vacant Varsity Theater) was only intended to be there temporarily.
The fact is, downtown Carbondale business has paid a heavy price through the City of Carbondale's "Redevelopment" in the 70s and 80s, by the attrition in the number of commercial spaces for lease and the overpass on Mill-inois; not to mention all the parking meters,