Following months of discussion, the Planning and Zoning Commission finally approved of the Water Street District proposal at their latest meeting.
The project would add a seven story, a130-room Holiday Inn Express, 50,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space, more than 60 apartment units, and a parking garage all to a two and a half acre area between the DuPage River and Aurora Avenue.
“This development proposal has been carefully crafted to balance the expansion of downtown Naperville with the public benefits of the project,” said Kathleen West, the attorney representing Marquette Properties, the petitioner behind the development.
Some residents were on board.
“Just from the sheer fact that I live here and this development provides amenities that are lacking – this development is a win-win for everyone,” said Sharon Gorrell, a Naperville resident.
While many others begged for the commissioners to deny approval, saying the size and scope is far too great to fit Naperville’s charm.
“I am for hotels. I am for development, but I am not for monolithic monsters,” said Naperville resident, Tom O’Hale.
Though most of the commissioners expressed lingering concerns – including the potential for greater traffic congestion – in the end they voted 5 to 2 in favor of the development, saying it’ll bring more jobs and revenue to the area.
“The uses for the project are outstanding,” said Commissioner Kevin Coyne. “I think both the hotel and apartments are needed downtown and will be very successful there.”
Commissioners Patricia Meyer and Timothy Messer voted against the proposal.
“I would like to support this project as proposed but I will not,” said Meyer. “This project is a monster – too much [in] too little space.”
The approval is contingent about Holiday Inn agreeing to reduce the lighted logo on top of the hotel to only a seven-foot “H”, instead of the entire “Holiday Inn Express” name.
The petitioner will work with city staff over the next couple months or so to prepare the proposal for city council, who must give the final approval. If approved by the council, construction would begin as soon as possible and should last about two years.
WANT MORE LOCAL NEWS?
Get daily news headlines delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!