5th Avenue Redevelopment Project Moves to Next Step

The 5th Avenue Redevelopment Project is moving to the next step.

Naperville City Council voted at a recent workshop to direct developer Ryan Companies to prepare a baseline concept for the project.

What is a Baseline Concept?

“It’s not at the same level of detail that you would see with drawings that are submitted to the planning commission,” said City Operations Manager Amy Emery. “It’s a tool. It’s a foundation for understanding where we go from here. It’s a starting point, I think we’ve heard it defined that way.”

Ryan will take input received on the two concepts released in August last year and consolidate them into one.

Retaking Submissions

An initial motion by councilman Patrick Kelly suggested putting the project back out for proposal, so council could see what other developers could offer.

“I understand the urgency to move forward and I think we should keep working at it and say what our vision is,” said Kelly. “Maybe Ryan can come back with a revised plan, maybe another developer could as well. But what we’ve got today, I just don’t think it gets it done. I wish it did, and if it did I’d be happy to go forward, but I just don’t think it’s there.”

That motion failed by a vote of 4-5. Then, with the alternative being to remove the project from the 2019 work plan, council voted 7-2 to allow Ryan to create their baseline concept.

“Wow Factor”

However, several on the dais expressed concern that there wasn’t a “wow factor” in either of Ryan’s previous concepts.

“Like some others have said, I wasn’t impressed with A or B the first time around because I think it lacked that ‘wow factor’ that we all want to be happy to move forward with,” said Councilman Paul Hinterlong. “So when you’re redesigning, give us some ‘wow’ because we need some ‘wow’ bad.”

Piece by Piece

Several moving parts of the complex 5th Avenue Redevelopment project have stabilized since Ryan first requested to move forward last September.

The DuPage Children’s Museum will remain in its current location, council set a goal of 20% affordable housing in the project, and city staff released conclusions from a commuter parking study.

These factors will all be taken into account in the baseline concept, which Ryan Companies will present in 90 days.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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