Ryan Companies Encouraged to Cut Density in 5th Avenue Project

The 5th Avenue Steering Committee recently gave Ryan Companies some more detailed feedback about their first design concepts for the 5th Avenue project.

The discussion revolved around feedback from the public given to Ryan Companies about those concepts.

Chief complaints from residents included height, density, and parking – this development notably does not add any spaces for commuters. It instead attempts to improve the commuter experience by moving parking lots to more accessible locations.

Over 1,000 spots will be added, but they’ll be for retail and housing uses – a fact that worried the commuter representative on the committee.

“Looking at the number of extra parking that’s being added, one of the concerns was safety, more traffic, but now we are adding more parking, but just not for the actual users, commuters, if we go back to this being a focus of the train station, is that still a core concept?” said Katie Sowa, commuter representative on the 5th Avenue Steering Committee.

It was actually the city that initially requested the number of parking spots remain the same in the new development – the 5th Avenue Steering Committee says if that’s the final decision, city council should give some rationale.

Other hot topics are height, density, and costs – and they’re all linked together. Initial cost estimates of the entire project are over $330 million. Over $55 million of that is in city infrastructure improvements including commuter parking and stormwater management.

Whether those costs are paid by the city or absorbed by Ryan Companies makes an impact on how dense the project has to be for the developer to make money off of the deal.

“It seems to me if we’re going to do this logically we need to delineate and understand the costs, have a discussion about the costs, and then decide okay what we want to see here,” said Thom Higgins, a resident from Park Addition who sits on the 5th Avenue Steering Committee.

The steering committee encouraged Ryan Companies to explore a reduced density concept with 200 apartments instead of the current 400, and to knock a story or two off some of the tallest buildings.

Naperville City Council will discuss the 5th Avenue concepts at the September 4 meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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