Meet Downtown’s New NPO- Brian Harhausen

Brian Harhausen was born and raised in Mason City, IL. He later moved to Williamsville, where he attended high school and graduated from in 1996. Shortly after, Harhausen moved to Springfield, where he attended a few community colleges and finally settled down at the University of Illinois- Springfield where he finished his four- year degree in Psychology in 2003.

Harhausen’s first job right out of school was at a special education school in Sangamon County called SAS Ed. He served as a teacher’s aide. “Back then I had no intentions of becoming a police officer,” he said. Harhausen’s career goal was to become a school psychologist, which would require an extra four years of school. He had to make the decision to either further his education and spend more time in school or start a career.

Teacher’s Aide Turned Neighborhood Police Officer

After many conversations with the school police officers at SAS Ed, Harhausen learned that there were multiple job opportunities available at the Springfield Police Department and he decided to go for it. Harhausen applied for a position and landed his first job with the police department in 2007 with their Street Crime Unit, later moving to midnights and finally ending up as Downtown Springfield’s newest Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) at the start of 2017.

What Role Does an NPO Play?

An NPO is designed to address ongoing issues in specific neighborhoods. Harhausen is responsible for Beat 200 which encompasses the Downtown area. He works with all the businesses, organizations and merchants with whatever issues they might be having. The job was essentially created to be a liaison between a neighborhood and the police department so that there was someone whom people would feel comfortable contacting whenever an issue arose.

According to Harhausen, it is vital for residents and merchants to have a good relationship with the police department because it builds up a trust between the two and it speeds up the process of solving any issues in the area. He urges merchants and individuals to relay any issues to the police department the instant that they occur, so that police know what they are dealing with right away and can quickly address those issues.

The Springfield Police Department has made many efforts to keep Springfield a safe area to live, work and play. Some of these efforts include: bar closing details to ensure that bars close smoothly without incident, alcohol and tobacco stings which reinforce legal protocols, and neighborhood walks so that officers can meet residents individually and introduce themselves to the community. Harhausen believes that Downtown is safe overall. “There is always room for improvement. As businesses continue to thrive, the amount of patrons coming downtown will increase and this in turn will give the perception that downtown is a safe place,” he said. His hope for the future of downtown and the city as a whole is to do anything that helps to facilitate business growth.

Downtown homelessness and panhandling is something that is brought up a lot among business owners and residents. Harhausen believes that downtown partners are on the right track to addressing this nationwide epidemic. “From a police officer’s perspective, there are resources available for those that might be homeless downtown… we can refresh DSI’s program so that people know to donate money to organizations in Springfield that provide services for the homeless, that way residents aren’t giving money directly to panhandlers,” said Harhausen.

Officer Harhausen loves his job regardless of some of the unappealing issues he deals with on a regular basis. “I enjoy tackling difficult issues. One of the things that drew me into education at the beginning was that I could be a part of a person’s personal life, in the sense that I could help them out. In police work I tend to come into people’s lives when they are not in the best situation. It feels good to be able to try and help people out of what ever situation they are in whether it’s good or bad,” he said.

Officer Harhausen is married to Angela and has three children. Hannah is 14, River is 12 and Ava is 8. On his day off, Harhausen enjoys taking his children to the President Abraham Lincoln Museum and going to Obed and Isaac’s with his wife. He has served as a Springfield police officer for ten years.

Contact

The non-emergency number at the Police Department is 217-788-8325. If you are a downtown business and don’t have Officer Harhausen’s digits in your own phone, contact the DSI office at 217-544-1723.

All the Female Entrepreneurs

For International Women’s Day, we did a Facebook collage of nine of our female proprietors. The community responded with more names of their favorites, so we decided to make a blog post that encompasses more of Downtown’s #ladybosses. “Who runs the world, GIRLS!”

Jeannie from Wild Rose-PASSIONATE
Address: 115 N. 6th
Contact:(217) 572-1884
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun- Closed

A beautiful artisan boutique filled with handcrafted items and art work by local artists. "We were built on a foundation of friendship and creativity."
Tuyen from Sobi Sushi-CREATIVE


Address:420 E. Monroe
Contact: (217) 718-0350
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-2pm; 4pm-9:30pm, Sun-Closed

A unique sushi restaurant with a modern interior. "Take your sushi game to the next level. Sobi it!"
Cassie from Urban Sassafras-COURAGE


Address: 100 N. 6th
Contact: (217) 210-2303
Hours: Mon- Closed, Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun Closed

A fun whimsical store with a little bit of everything from fine art to delicate vintage pieces. "Each one-of-a-kind artistic piece is created right in the shop in the back studio."
Julie from Daisy Jane's-BRAVE


Address: 424 E. Monroe
Contact: (217) 622-7183
Hours: Mon-Closed, Tues-Sat 10:30am-5pm, Sun- Closed

A quaint little store with beautiful handcrafted gifts and art work. "Find fabulous handcrafted gifts for everyone, art, unique home decor, and a little bit of vintage!"
Jenny from Milk and Honey-AUTONOMY


Address: 221-223 S. 6th
Contact: (217) 210-2240
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun-Closed

A fresh market filled with local produce and other grocery items. "Fresh produce and herbs are grown on location in our indoor garden."
Megan from Café Andiamo-UNIQUE


Address: 204 S. 6th
Contact: (217) 523-3262
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

A coffee house and restaurant with a fun and whimsical interior with friendly staff.
Kendra from Custom Cup-COMPASSIONATE


Address: 321 E. Monroe
Contact: (217) 652-7279
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-1pm, Sat 8am-1pm, Sun- Closed

A lovely coffee shop serving fresh roasted coffee. "At Custom Cup, we only roast your order after it is received. Each individual order is unique so roasting only small batches allows us to see the progress and transformation of the coffee."
Linda from Springfield Vintage-SUCCESSFUL


Address: 215 S. 5th
Contact: (217) 652-8413
Hours: Mon-Closed, Tues-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun-Closed

A vintage treasure trove with hidden gems in every corner. "Vintage, Retro, Kitsch! Colorful, Eclectic, Fun!"
Melissa from Your Corner Office-FEARLESS


Address: 427 E. Monroe
Contact: (217) 679-4653
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun Closed

"A shared working space that provides resources business professionals can leverage to collaborate, meet with clients, and host productive meetings. This co-working environment is designed to help yield higher productivity while encouraging you to grow personally and professionally."
Rachel from The Roost-COURAGEOUS


Address: 216 S. 6th
Contact: (217) 528-2234
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun- Closed

A fun and trendy artist co-op with loads of handcrafted items and art work by local artists.
Shellie from Dell's Popcorn


Address: 213 S. 6th
Contact: (217) 544-0037
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun Closed

A gourmet popcorn shop with many other tasty treats. "Caution: This isn't some mamby pamby popcorn stand!"
Ellen from JP Kelly's


Address: 300 E. Adams
Contact: (217) 753-7933
Hours: Mon-Closed, Tues-Fri 3pm-1am, Sat 10am-1am, Sun-Closed

An Irish Pub that feels like a real slice of Ireland. "We Proudly Fly The Irish Flag 365 Days A Year!!!"
Alicia from Studio on 6th


Address: 215 S. 6th
Contact: (217) 522-8006
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun-Closed

An original artist co-op with a little bit of everything. From jewelry to artwork and much more! "One-of-a-kind items from more than 60 artists are here."
Trudy from Abe's Old Hat


Address: 111 N. 6th
Contact: (217) 414-3320
Hours: Mon-Tues 11am-5pm, Wed-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun-Closed

A store filled with antique royalty! "Abe's Old Hat Antiques and Country Store specializes in quality Americana including Folk Art, Advertising, Civil War, Arts and Crafts, Pottery and Paint."
Dana from Old Capitol Goods and What the Shirt


Address: 2 Old State Capitol Plaza
Contact: (217) 525-1825
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun-Closed

"Stop in to this charming shop for the area's largest collection of Lincoln busts & souvenirs, and home to items from the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition." The store also boasts loads of custom T-shirts that are made right on site!
Sharon from Augie's Front Burner


Address: 109 N. 5th
Contact: (217) 544-6979
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2:30PM; 5pm-9:30pm, Sat 5pm-9:30pm, Sun-Closed

"Augie’s Front Burner offers a unique dining experience for the adventurous in palate and spirit. Offering a distinctive blend of experiences engaging all senses, diners will be seduced by the sight, smell and taste."
Karen from Conn's Hospitality


Address: 625 E. Monroe
Contact: (217) 744-3735
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

"A 4th generational family owned and operated company that specializes in business research and development, historic asset conversions, and operation management of dining facilities, beverage production, specialty fruit and vegetable farming, unique retail outlets, and special events production."
Shandy from Dalliance Salon


Address: 314 E. Adams
Contact: (217) 303-5242
Hours: By Appointment

A beautiful full service salon. "Whether you want to enhance your natural beauty or just escape from the trials of a long day, We offer a retreat tailored to your specific needs."
Heather from Moxi Massage


Address: 107 S. 7th
Contact: (217) 725-6597
Hours: By appointment

"The atmosphere is nothing like what you are used to. How can we describe it? Tranquil, Serene, Quiet, Relaxing, Cozy, a Hidden Gem. Part of the appeal is that we are not a Mega-Salon."
Michelle from Yoga7even


Address: 605 E. Washington
Contact: (303) 882-1225
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-7pm, Fri 7am-5pm, 7am-11am, Sun-Closed

"We aim to cultivate peace of mind so each student can find and retain their strength while growing and aging with grace. Yoga is always better....TOGETHER!"
Kari from Kari Bedford


Address: 314 E. Monroe
Contact: (217) 836-5623
Hours: By appointment

"Way beyond "candids," but more alive than traditional portrait photography, her work truly reveals the connection she forges with each client."

Pajama Brunch and Toy Drive This Sunday at Balen’s

7-year-old Lexi Sonneborn is on a mission to collect and donate 2,000 toys for kids at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital. A Pajama Brunch and Toy Drive will be held on Sunday from 11:00am-2:00pm at Balen’s Bar and Grill (217 S 5th) with food, music, and fun for the whole family.

Lexi is no stranger to the hospital. She was born premature at only 27 weeks, and spent her first three months in St. John’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and subsequently, her next three Christmases in their Pediatric Care Unit. Her mom Beth is a communications professional and her dad Josh owns several downtown establishments.

Help Lexi keep her New Year’s resolution to give 2,000 toys to kids in the hospital!! Sunday’s event will include a special brunch menu, live entertainment by local musician Dave Littrel, a bloody mary bar, selfie booth, and plenty of chances to win fun prizes.

At 1:30 pm a pajama contest will take place with local celebrity judges awarding prizes for “Most Creative,” “Best Couple or Group,” and “Fan Favorite.” Celebrity judges include 5th Ward Alderman Andrew Proctor, Gina Gemberling (Director of Visit Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau), and Dave Newton (HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital Program Coordinator, formerly of WDBR-FM).

Free Press Coffee House’s pop-up cart will be on hand to keep guests caffeinated and the Itty Bitty Fashion Truck mobile boutique will be set up outside so guests can enjoy some retail therapy.

All toys and monetary donations will be donated to HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is approaching fast and we are very aware that there are probably quite a few procrastinators out there that are scrambling to find the perfect gift. The good news is, the staff at DSI have made your job easy. Below are a list of the retailers right downtown with some awesome ideas to get your wheels turning.

Whether your significant other is fun and flirty or dark and mysterious, quirky and cool or spunky and playful….WE HAVE GOT YOU COVERED! Check out these amazing Valentine’s Day finds, you only have 2 days left. What are you waiting for?

Abe's Old Hat-His:
111 N. 6th Street

Handcrafted Vintage Hat
Abe's Old Hat-Hers:


Handcrafted vintage handkerchiefs
The Cardologist-His:
627 E. Adams Street

Valentine's Day cards-$3.50+
The Cardologist-Hers

Quirky Necklace Duos-$15
Chartruse-His:
229 S. 6th

Handcrafted ceramic and clay guitar-$90 (Call for availability)
Chartruse-Hers:

Lucky clay and ceramic coffee mugs-$25
Daisy Jane's-His:
424 E. Monroe Street

Vintage Record Clocks-$45
Daisy Jane's-Hers:

Bath Bombs-$9
Dell's Popcorn-His:
213 S. 6th Street

Sports Fan Popcorn Gift Baskets-$22+
Dell's Popcorn-Hers:

Popcorn Gift Baskets-$16-$32
Elf Shelf Books and Music-His:
413 E. Adams Street

Music by Nat King Cole & Barry White
Elf Shelf Books and Music-Hers:

Poems by Pablo Neruda & Mary Oliver as well as recipes to send the heart fluttering!
Jade's Far East Emporium-His:
631 E. Adams Street

Saki Set-$19.99
Jade's Far East Emporium-Hers:

Silk Robes-$27.99
Merchant House-His:
625 E. Monroe Street

Wooden Wine Rack-$337.50
Merchant House-Hers:

Soap and Dish Set-$18.75
Salad Spoons-$25
Serving Platter-$25
Milk and Honey-Traditional Dinner Option:
223 S. 6th Street

Milk and Honey bag, 2x ribeye steaks(local),rainbow carrots, 2x baked potatoes, Bunn Gourmet Chocolate Cake and a recipe card- $40
Milk and Honey-Vegiterian Dinner Option:

Milk and Honey bag, spaghetti, organic lemon olive oil, asparagus, mini tiramisu, cannoli, parmesan cheese and a recipe card-$40

Vegan Dinner Option:

Milk and Honey bag, mushrooms, red sauce, yellow onion, zucchini noodles, Almond Dream Ice cream and a recipe card-$20
Murphy's Loft-His:
210 S. 6th Street

Mens Accessories-$11-$20
Murphy's Loft-Hers:

Women's Accessories-$10-$20
Old Capitol Goods/What the Shirt-His:
2 E. Adams Street

T-Shirts-$20-$25
Old Capitol Goods/What the Shirt-Hers:

Women's vintage brooches-$12.99-$29.99
Prairie Archives-His:
522 E. Adams Street

Vintage TIME Magazines-$5-$10
Prairie Archives-Hers:

Springfield Book-$22.99
Recycled Records-His:
625 E. Adams Street

Men's Vintage Watches-$265-$400 (Pictured price ranges)
Men's Pocket Watches-$125-$195 (Pictured price ranges)
Recycled Records-Hers:
Women's Vintage Rings-$300-$600 (Picture price ranges)
Women's Bracelets-$175-$450 (Pictured price ranges)
The Roost-His:
216 S. 6th Street

Handcrafted Bird House-$20-26
The Roost-Hers:

Succulent Dolls-$23-$38
Springfield Vintage-His:
215 S. 5th Street

Sweater-$20
Shirt-$16
Groovy Pants-$18
Springfield Vintage-Hers:

White Faux Fur Coat-$50
Studio on 6th-His:
215 S. 6th Street

Decorative Sports Bottle Caps-$50 each
Studio on 6th-Hers:

Various Valentines Day Gifts-$5-$16 (Pictured price ranges)
Wild Rose-His:
115 N. 6th Street

Recycled Barn Wood Paintings-Call for pricing
Wild Rose-Hers:

Hand Painted glassware-call for pricing
Urban Sassafras-His:
110 N. 6th Street

Recycled Tire belts-Call for pricing
Urban Sassafras-Hers:

Handcrafted layered necklace-$55

UIS Downtown Nightlife Shuttle Starts

Tonight a new shuttle launches between the University of Illinois Springfield campus and downtown Springfield. It was an initiative of the UIS Student Government Association, which is partially funding the program. The program is also receiving financial support from downtown establishments The Remedy, The Alamo and The Gin Mill, with some financial and staff assistance from DSI.

“The Student Government Association at the University of Illinois-Springfield is dedicated to bringing students closer to the greater Springfield community. We have a large population of students on our campus who are unable to enjoy Downtown Springfield because they lack transportation. This latest initiative allows our students to not only get a taste of downtown Springfield but also serves as a way the University can form partnerships with local downtown businesses,” said Austin M. Mehmet, President of the UIS Student Government Association.

DSI has contracted with Gracious Cab to run four 16-person shuttles every Friday and Saturday night throughout the spring semester (except March 17-18, which is spring break).

The shuttle will pick up students for free with a valid ID from TRAC on the UIS campus and drop them off downtown. Pick up times at TRAC are 10 pm, 11 pm, midnight and 1 am.

The downtown drop-off and pick-up location is:

Remedy Nightclub at 5th and Adams: January 28 through February 26

The Alamo at 115 N 5th St: March 3 – April 1 (excluding March 17-18)

The Gin Mill at 235 S 5th St: April 7 – May 6

The last shuttle leaving downtown for campus is at 2 am.

Downtown Business Priorities Going into 2017

At the end of 2016, DSI conducted a needs assessment of our downtown district business owners so that we could set priorities as an organization for the coming year. A majority indicated that they were optimistic heading into the new year. Respondents indicated their 2017 priorities as filling vacancies, permanent directional signage, launching a new district brand and educational campaign, a parking app, adding family-friendly amenities to the Old State Capitol Plaza and determining a collective vision for the next 10-15 years.

Who Responded to the Survey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(“Other” consisted of: non-profits, hotels, property managers, etc.)

Morale Going into 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What were your best months in 2016?

  1. December
  2. May
  3. April
  4. July

What were your worst months in 2016?

  1. January
  2. December
  3. November
  4. February

Was the year “normal” as far as sales?

The majority of businesses were split between lower sales than normal and maintaining sales levels compared to 2015, with a few businesses that expanded their footprint or amended their offerings seeing a gain.

What DSI activities in 2016 helped your bottom line?

  1. Old Capitol Holiday Walks
  2. Publicizing businesses in all communication channels
  3. Farmers Market
  4. Work to decrease panhandling annoyances

2017 Priorities for DSI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are some other ideas to help downtown grow?

Community Music School and Performance Venue; changing all parking meters to 2 hour meters; changing parallel parking back to diagonal; guaranteed water mains sized to supply required sprinkler systems; slow down the traffic; local talent night on the Plaza; vacant Peases building get national retailer like Crate and Barrel or IKEA; movie theater; additional shopping (women’s trendy clothing, shoes and kids); healthy eating restaurant; dog park; new park/green space with playground and bandshell close to downtown (Y-Block); pull more workers from medical district by promoting labs and doctors to set up in downtown spaces; launch a moving billboard on a downtown shuttle; incentives for start-up businesses; down payment assistance and/or grants to encourage purchase of downtown condo space.

 

City of Springfield Budget Discussions for FY18

The FY 2018 budget workshops will take place in the City Council Chambers located on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Center West, 300 S. Seventh Street. The budget workshops will be broadcast live on the city’s cable station, Channel 18.  Residents will be able to view the complete budget information beginning Monday, January 9 on the city’s website.

 Date: Time: Topic:
Tuesday, January 10

 

After Committee of the Whole Office of Budget & Management overview; Human Resources; Public Works
Tuesday, January 17 After City Council Treasurer; City Clerk; City Council; Convention & Visitors Bureau; Office of Planning and Economic Development; Library
Thursday, January 19 5:30 p.m. CWLP

 

Monday, January 23 5:30p.m. Police Department and Fire Department

 

Tuesday, January 24

 

After Committee of the Whole Office of Budget & Management; and Mayor’s Office

 

Tuesday, February 14 During Committee of the Whole meeting starting at5:30p.m. Public Hearing

 

2016 Best of Downtown Award Nominees

Alex Block (center) was named DSI’s Volunteer of the Year for 2015.

The Annual Dinner Committee is excited to announce this year’s nominees for downtown’s annual awards featuring the people and places that raise the bar in downtown. This year’s process included soliciting nominations from the public, so thank you!

The recipients, including DSI Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award–and the first-ever Window Decorating Contest winner–will be announced at DSI’s Annual Gala “Downtown Springfield’s Blooming” on Wed., January 18.

Reserve your tickets today>

 

 

Best Facade/ Signage

Lincoln Herndon Exterior Renovation

Floyd’s Thirst Parlor

Urban Sassafras

Public/ Private Partnership

Frank Lloyd Wright Mural

Springfield Art Association & Ace Sign Co. Art Bus Benches

UIS & Villas of Downtown

Best Event

SOHO Music Festival

Downhome Festival

Blues and BBQ

Best Retail Business

The Card*ologist

Urban Sassafras

Wild Rose

Best Restaurant

JoJo’s Street Cuisine

Obed and Issac’s Brewery

Stop and Roll Sushi

Best Nightlife

Floyds Thirst Parlor

Obed’s Beer Garden

The Hoogland Center

Creative Promotion

Arlington’s Murder Mystery Dinner

Floyd’s Thirst Parlor “Make Cocktails Great Again”

Urban Sassafras Insta-Sales & Thanksgiving Giveaway Event

Downtown Advocate

Alicia Bibb

Brian Wojcicki

Rep. Tim Butler

Innovative Business Concept

Stop and Roll Sushi’s Hours and Offerings

Business Incubator Innovate Springfield

Milk & Honey Fresh Market for Growing Veggies & Reusable Bags

Best Not for Profit Initiative—

Springfield Black Chamber’s Pop-Up Happy Hour

100+ Who Care Fundraising Event at the Gin Mill

Illinois Stewardship Alliance Farm to Table Series

 

 

Pop Up Development during Holiday Walks

A 40 percent-plus commercial vacancy rate doesn’t exactly make for holiday cheer. The official city of Springfield measure of downtown vacancies was among the inspirations for a “pop up business” venture during the annual Holiday Walks in the historic commercial district. Volunteers also decorated more than 60 storefronts, including those that are vacant, for the Wednesday and Saturday walks. Read more of the State Journal Register’s article by Tim Landis>