Water Street Project Proposal

Naperville City Council has decided to hold off on their decision to move forward with the Water Street Project proposal.

At the latest meeting, more than 30 residents spoke up about the structure that will include a seven-story Holiday Inn Express with a rooftop restaurant, 62 apartments, retail, office spaces, and a 580 space parking deck.

The last discussion about the project called for more revisions. Contractors made a total of ten changes suggested like an increase in parking and the height of the structure decreased, but some people still aren’t convinced.

“I am pro development, but I worry it will take away from the small Midwest feel that makes Naperville unique,” said resident Bob Shearheart.

Marsha Strob took the podium and said, “It’s way too big. It’s too high and too dense and it’s overwhelming our beautiful downtown.”

Others feel that it will greatly improve the quality of downtown for generations to come.

Ted Gradel looks forward to bringing his family to the possible new addition in downtown. “This project is something that will bring vitality, new business, and new revenues to the city. Coming out of an economic time when we could really use it,” he said.

29-year-old Mike Krutcho was one of the youngest people to speak on the issue. “New economy and new growth is what we need and I feel like bringing in this development will further bring in people of my age.”

In the end, city council members were not ready to put the plans in action.

Councilman Grant Wehrli listed his reasoning for not passing the proposal at this time. “We have a project that we had a promise made that wasn’t kept. We have math on parking that doesn’t make sense, we have height that walks away from the Water Street vision statement and its intent and by the way, as taxpayers, we have to pay for it,” stated Wehrli.

“One way or another this is probably going to be a five, four approval or a five, four no vote,” predicted Councilman Steve Chirco.

City council will continue to discuss the Water Street project at their next meeting on December fourth.

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