Plans for the redevelopment of 13 acres around Fifth Avenue Station are expected to continue through this year. Developers are hoping they will have a plan by spring 2019 but, along with Naperville City Council, agree the most important thing is that everybody has the opportunity to weigh in on what they would like to see built.
Jim McDonald, vice president of Ryan Companies Real Estate Development says: “We have been encouraged by the openness of the dialogue. We want to make sure our information is accurate and we can measure it. We are enjoying the opportunity to openly discuss. My hope is that when we get to the end folks will say Ryan did a great job getting the community involved.”
Last October, the city appointed Ryan Companies to help manage the lengthy process. Since then there have been several meetings so that members of the public, individuals, groups and key stakeholders can provide their input. Phase II is expected to continue until approximately the end of February, with the second of four quarterly steering committee meetings in March.
Organizations involved so far include area businesses, Metra, BNSF Railway, Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, Naperville Community Unit School District 203, the city’s Senior Task Force and the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation.
City communications manager Linda LaCloche says, “We really encourage people to get involved. We are looking for a plan from the neighborhood.”
The area along Fifth Avenue near the Naperville Metra station has been a highly contested topic in the community for many years. In 2009 it was the focus of a planning area study. Concerns include flooding, parking scarcity and traffic congestion. One proposal at that time was for the
Omnia Performing Arts Center. Although it failed in its development attempt then, supporters are back on board. At that time the finance plan had relied selling $130 million in bonds that would be paid back with money generated by the project.
In total, the city is considering eight parcels of its land, including the Kroehler Lot at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Loomis, the former Boekcker property at 190 East Fifth Avenue and the DuPage Children’s Museum. LaCloche says the acquisition of the Boekcker property last March was the last piece in the puzzle. “We are looking for everyone’s input with what the community would like to see,” she adds.
The public is invited to provide feedback in person or online. Information is available at fifthavenuedevelopment
.com and naperville.il.us/projects-in-