Dec. 21, 2009
Five New Businesses Coming to 1st Street Downtown Redevelopment District
The City of St. Charles is happy to announce the signing of five more leases for the First Street Redevelopment Project. The businesses will bring a mix of dining, personal service, and retail to downtown St. Charles in early 2010.
Prasino is a restaurant emphasizing organic food that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to healthy dining, Prasino will feature a juice bar allowing patrons to get a quick beverage. For more information, visit www.eatgreenlivewell.com.
Wok 'n Fire is an Asian restaurant, serving an extensive menu inspired by cuisine from Japan, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam. For more information, go to www.woknfire.com or call 630-444-3580.
An Aveda salon will be opening its doors on First Street, providing a wide array of Aveda haircare products in addition to hair styling services. For more information, go to www.aveda.com.
Boudoir is an upscale, French-themed nail salon and day spa unique to First Street.
Brix Wine and Cheese will be re-locating from downstate Quincy to be exclusively within First Street. In addition to fine wines and cheeses, Brix also offers gourmet chocolates. For more information, visit www.brixwineandcheese.net.
These businesses will all be locating within the already-constructed Plaza Building located at the northwest corner of First Street and Illinois Avenue in downtown St. Charles.
The First Street Redevelopment is a mixed-use project that will bring over 250,000 square feet of retail and office, as well as 95 new residential units, and more than 500 public parking spaces over the next several years to St. Charles. Situated along the Fox River, this privately-owned development is within the First Street TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district, which is financed through government bonds, private investment, and the accrual of property tax increment within the designated area in order to strengthen its economic base.
Retailers interested in locating within the First Street Redevelopment should contact Summers Commercial Realty at (630) 232-7555. Businesses interested in locating elsewhere within St. Charles should contact the City's Economic Development Department at (630) 443-4093.
October 10, 2008
First Street Closed Monday, Oct. 13
On Monday, October 13, AT&T will close 1st Street between Main St./Route 64 and the temporary, one-way "drive" behind the 100 West Main Street businesses for one week to install an equipment vault in 1st Street. The one-way drive behind the businesses will remain accessible from Route 31 only, as it will be closed only at 1st Street to all traffic.
Also during this closure, the water services for the 1 W. Main building will be installed. This installation requires that a portion of the watermain along 1st Street that serves some of the West Main businesses needs to be shut down for. The impacted businesses will be notified by the City's Water Department with the time and duration of this disruption to complete this work.
The 1st Street Place (West Plaza) construction is anticipated to begin in two weeks. At that time, the one-way drive behind the West Main Street businesses will be permanently closed to vehicle traffic, but a pedestrian walkway with access to these businesses will remain open.
Map of affected area [pdf]
September 26, 2008
First Street Closed Sept. 29
On Monday, September 29, 2008 an underground contractor, CBM Plumbing, a subcontractor for POWER Construction, will completely close 1st Street to all traffic only at the north end, adjacent to Route 64 to install water and sewer services for the 1 W. Main Building.
Given the locations of these services, it is not anticipated that the "temporary" drive thru aisle behind the West Main St. businesses will close. This construction work is scheduled to close down 1st Street all day on Monday, September 29 and on Tuesday, September 30. As soon as the work is complete, the road will be re-opened for traffic.
June 20, 2008
Road Work Moving Quickly
- The intersection of 1st Street and Illinois Street is now open, with 4-way stops in place until the traffic signals arrive.
- On Illinois, the right in / right out to Blue Goose Market is scheduled to open today.
- The second half of the concrete on the closed portion of 1st street (north of Illinois to the one-way "pass through") is scheduled to be poured today; there will be temporary pavement there until August.
- The parking deck is still scheduled to open July 1st; the Ribbon Cutting is scheduled for July 15 at 10:00 am, and you are invited to attend.
- A temporary parking lot at the NE corner of 2nd Street and Illinois will open in the next couple of days, with no time limit placed on parking.
- The one-way "pass through" behind the businesses on the 100 West Main Street block will be open until the first week of July.
- Work on the public area of The Plaza is scheduled to begin the second week in July.
June 13, 2008
First Street and Illinois Intersection Re-Opens
On Friday, June 13th, the intersection of 1st Street and Illinois opened shortly after 2:00 p.m.
Work began on the intersection April 28th, and was proposed to be completed in late June, however, City Council members advised City staff to implement plans that would include overtime funds in order to expedite construction work. The work has been completed almost two full weeks ahead of schedule, according to City staff.
"City staff and the construction coordination team did an outstanding job completing a complex project, in a very timely manner," said Mayor Don DeWitte.
"Opening up this intersection will not only provide relief for Main Street traffic, it will allow drivers and pedestrians to easily access the businesses in the Fox Island Square, and along 1st Street, after weeks of inconvenient detours."
The 1st Street and Illinois intersection will remain a 4-way stop until new traffic lights are installed.
June 6, 2008
First Street Tour
On Thursday, June 5 St. Charles Business Owners toured the 1st Street Parking Deck. Tours were held at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to accommodate the participants.
May 23, 2008
Working to Expedite the Construction Schedule
On Monday, May 19, City Council members advised city staff to implement plans that would include overtime funds in order to expedite construction work on the 1st Street and Illinois intersection. Work began on the intersection April 28, and while the original schedule proposed the project would be completed by late June, additional approved overtime could shorten that time by upwards of two weeks, according to Mark Koenen, Director of Public Works.
"We are on schedule," said Koenen. " We projected a 60-day construction schedule beginning at May 1 and running through the end of June. Because we have finished the underground work and stayed on schedule and not run into any unknowns, we will begin to start the paving work. That paving work (curb and gutter) should start by end of week. They have already started to core out the old 1st Street starting at the Fox Valley Cleaners site and are progressing north through the intersection of Illinois and 1st Streets," Koenen explained.
Last summer, the City of St. Charles took a 24-hour count of the Route 64 (Main Street) Bridge, which saw 44,000 vehicles a day. The Prairie Street Bridge and the Illinois Bridge each saw an additional 11,000 vehicles a day. As a result of effectively closing the intersection of Illinois and 1st, this would require those 11,000 vehicles to find a new way to cross the Fox River.
The construction work planned for this intersection was originally planned for the summer of 2007. The City of St. Charles purposely delayed that work, recognizing that the City endured a lot of traffic congestion last spring when utility work was completed, and therefore made a decision not to schedule work on that intersection because of the inconveniences for the business in the 1st Street corridor. The work was delayed until spring of 2008.
What's Happening Now
"The work that the City has been processing since May 1 has been the underground (storm sewer) work," Koenen explained. "Storm sewer work is to be done right in the intersection itself as well as a storm sewer out from the intersection of 1st Street and Illinois to the Fox River which should be completed (Tuesday)," he explained.
Koenen went on to explain to the Council that residents should expect to see a lot of construction activity and then minimal to no activity after the concrete is poured, as it takes at least 7 days to cure. During this timeframe, no cars can be allowed to drive over the concrete.
After the curbs are completed, crews will pave the street and expect to be finished the week of June 2, weather permitting. After the concrete pavement work is completed, brick crosswalks will be installed. Koenen said he expected the Illinois Street and 1st Street intersection to be open sometime the week of June 16, or mid-June, which is two weeks earlier than originally projected by the project schedule.
Koenen presented an overtime proposal to the council that would allow contractor crews to work 10 hour days, including Saturdays, for $1,500.00 an hour per crew, expediting the construction schedule.
"Best case scenario, the City may save ourselves up to 6 days. That is a lot when you are talking about the kind of congestion that we have in downtown St. Charles," Koenen said to the Council.
After a brief discussion, the Council approved the overtime proposal in hopes to expedite the construction schedule.
"City Council has acted in direct response to numerous complaints about the current traffic congestion, by allowing work on this vital alternative route to Main Street to be completed ahead of schedule," said Mayor DeWitte.
"The situation this year is only exacerbated by ever increasing levels of traffic having so few options to cross the river in our area," he said.
May 16, 2008
Walnut Street is completed! Several light fixtures have already been installed and additional fixtures are planned to be completed this week.
1st Street and Illinois
Utility and underground work is continuing at the intersection of 1st Street and Illinois. More than 95% of the storm sewer work has been completed. Next week, plans will include digging out the road bed and late next week, pouring the curb. Paving the road will follow. The electrical contractor will begin work on the intersection's traffic signal lights next week as well.
The last of the electric conversion outages are scheduled for Sunday and Monday. Completing these outages will allow the City to remove the two old transformers that were behind the old Vi's and prepare the area for the West Plaza improvements.
Questions or comments about the First Street project may be directed to the FirstStreet hotline at 630-762-7097or email at 1stStreet@stcharlesil.gov.
May 9, 2008
Barricades were removed on Walnut Street on Friday. Japanese Lilac, Autumn Blaze Maple and Elm trees have been planted along both sides of Walnut and near the parking helix. Brick paving was completed this week and light fixtures are expected to be put in next week.
The City Electric Office completed the bid package for the electric vaults needed on First Street. Underground vaults are needed to replace the above ground facilities in the West Plaza and facilitate removal of the remaining wood poles on First Street north of 401 S. First; Illinois Street between First and Second Street and Indiana between the river and First Street, including removal of the lines on the pedestrian bridge. After the Walnut pavement is ready for traffic, decorative lights & high mast lights will be installed on Walnut east of 2nd Street. It is anticipated that work will start early next week and will be completed within 10 working days.
May 5, 2008
New Detours: Check the Map
An updated construction detours map [pdf] is now available.
April 18, 2008
On Monday, April 14, members of the City Council, the Mayor, and City Administrator Brian Townsend, along with the media, toured the Plaza. Representatives of Power Construction, the general contractor for the project, and project developer Bob Rasmussen led the group through each of the five levels of the building. The tour served as an opportunity to see a sneak-peak of the work that began almost a year ago, and is scheduled to come to completion in early July.
Rita Tungare and Chris Tiedt take in the view from the top of the parking deck on Monday.
Once the group reached the top of the Plaza, they found quite an impressive view of the city as they looked over the deck’s top floor in each direction.
Once completed, the Plaza will contain more than 55,300 square feet of retail and office space, 431 free public parking spaces, fire sprinklers and emergency call buttons on ever floor, and convenient access to West Main businesses. Additional coverage if Monday’s Plaza tour from Courier can be found at: www.suburbanchicagonews.com/couriernews
The target date for Walnut Street completion is still May 1, and despite weather challenges, much of the work was completed before the end of the day on Thursday. Both the North and South sides of the curb was poured on Wednesday. By Thursday, most street utility work was completed and the rest of the concrete for the street was also poured. Additional work and time will be needed to finish the sidewalks and for the concrete to cure. Streetlights for Walnut will be installed in May.
1st Street Business Owner Dan Marshall of Marshall Architects and Pam Bierman of Doc Morgan, Inc. recently shared their impressions of the current work. “I compliment Alliance,” Bierman said. “I’m amazed at what’s gotten down with such a small crew,” she said. “The City has really done a phenomenal job here,” Marshall said on Friday.
One of the four fox statues from the Main Street
Bridge watches the demolition progress at the old
Observers this week gathered to bid a fond farewell to the Old Blue Goose currently under demolition. Permit applications have been received for demolition work on the Harris Bank drive-thru building and the former Manor Restaurant, which is scheduled for later this spring.
The Blue Goose Supermarket formerly located at 164 South 1st Street was built in 1963 and has been home to the Blue Goose Supermarket until they reopened at their new location in early 2008. River Loft, a 240,000 square foot building will replace the former Blue Goose. River Loft is designed to contain retail, office, and multi-family residential space, including a parking garage, with additional public parking spaces.
Replacing the Harris Bank drive-thru building (built in 1970) will be River Terrace, an 89,000 square foot building that will also to consist of retail, office and multi-family residential spaces. Harris Bank opened their new location at 409 South 1st Street, and offers drive-thru service in March of 2008. The release of the demolition permit is expected by the end of April 2008.
The former Manor Restaurant located at 1 West Main Street was built in 1940 and has remained vacant since the Manor Restaurant closed in late 2006. The release of the demolition permit is expected in May of 2008.
Additional coverage of this demolition activity can be found at: http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2008/04/15/news/local/doc480433bcb8cc8376428 620.txt
IDOT signals have been converted at First and Main to the new underground system without any difficulty or service interference on Wednesday. Temporary restoration work of the sidewalk areas will continue.
On Monday, April 28th, ACI will completely close down the intersection of 1st Street and Illinois Street (stages 3A & 3B) for approximately two months. ACI will have then completed Walnut Street and Walnut will therefore be open prior to the closing of Illinois and 1st Street, weather permitting. During this time, access to the Fox Island Square parking lot on the North side of the building by crossing the Illinois Street Bridge will be maintained. Access to the rear parking lot, on the South side of the building, will also be available off Indiana Street. A complete map with detailed signage regarding this intersection closing will be available for reference next week both on the 1st Street Website http://www.1ststreetstc.org/ and printed here in the Weekly Wire.
The 1st Street Weekly Update meetings are open to the public and are held every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at City Hall on 2 E. Main Street. The meetings will focus on the public utility improvements currently under construction, and always include a brief review of that has been completed as well as an update on construction activities planned for the following week. The meetings also provide an opportunity for those who attend to ask questions and share comments regarding the project.
Additional information can be found at: http://www.1ststreetstc.org/ConstUpdates.htm Questions orcomments about the First Street project may be directed to the First Street hotline at 630-762-7097or email at 1stStreet@stcharlesil.gov.
April 11, 2008
The roadwork on Walnut Street has experienced delays due to poor weather conditions. Work will commence again on Monday, April 14, and curbs will be poured on Wednesday, April 16.
The traffic signals on First Street and Main Street will be serviced on Tuesday, April 15. Intermittent delays may occur, however work on the traffic signals will be assisted by a state official and is not expected to cause traffic delays.
Fencing is scheduled to go up around the former Blue Goose and Harris Bank buildings, Monday, April 14. Demolition is scheduled to begin shortly after, as water, gas and electric utilities have been cut to the buildings. The former Blue Goose parking lot will remain open for public parking during Sisters Weekend, April 11-13. Additional parking options on First Street include street parking as well as the parking lot behind the Manor building.
The fourth level of the helix in the parking deck has been poured, and is currently curing. Brick and masonry work continues contingent on weather conditions.
AT&T continues to work on the First Street Plaza (west plaza) to relocate utilities. Three remaining electric cutovers are scheduled. When work is completed all utilities will be relocated underground. The City Council awarded Power Construction the contract to complete work at First Street Place (West Plaza) at the Monday, April 7, meeting. The Council also officially approved the River Terrace Plaza (East Plaza) and the lower river walk. Minor changes were made to the PUD and will now include a railing along the lower river walk.
April 4, 2008
The 1st Street Weekly Update meetings started again this week. These weekly meetings are every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. and are held at City Hall located at 2 E. Main Street. The meetings will focus on the public utility improvements currently under construction, and always include a brief review of what has been completed as well as an update on construction activities planned for the following week. The meetings also provide an opportunity for those who attend to ask questions and share comments regarding the project.
On Monday, April 7, 2008, Alliance Contractors, Inc. (ACI) will completely close down Walnut Street to prepare for Stage 4b work between Illinois Route 31 (2nd Street) and Building #4 (Parking Deck) for four weeks. During this time, ACI will completely rebuild the road and sidewalks in this stretch of the road. Included in this 4-week closure are 7 days for the curing of the concrete road.
In mid-April, Power Construction will begin the demolition of the former Blue Goose building and the former Harris Bank building. Once the demolition has commenced from each of these buildings, public parking will be available in the parking lot just south of the former Manor building (1 West Main Street) until the parking deck is open in June.
Electric conversions for the West Main Businesses between 1st and 2nd Street are mostly completed; the City staff appreciates the cooperation from all involved. The final conversions will occur in conjunction with the renovation activities at La Za Za Trattoria. The last conversion outage will impact 5 s. 1st Street, 103 W. Main Street and 105 W. Main Street and will last approximately 2 hours. The date and time for that conversion has not been scheduled. After the conversions are completed, the area behind the old Vi's will be prepared for the upcoming plaza work.
AT&T will be working in the area between 1st and 2nd Street just south of Main to convert their facilities to the new underground system. The conversion will require a 15 to 30 minute phone line outage for each customer. AT&T will independently schedule this work for each business as they prepare to do this conversion.
March 28, 2008
Demolition will soon take place for three buildings on 1st Street. The Blue Goose and Harris Bank are scheduled to be demolished in April. The Manor restaurant is scheduled to be demolished later this spring. As part of the plans referenced in the 1st Street renovation project, in order to make way for new buildings 1 West Main, River Terrace, and River Loft, these three buildings will soon be a part of
St. Charles history.
Ryan Gusewelle, Senior Project Manager for Power Construction, describes the demolition process. “The process will involve site fencing, utility disconnects, equipment liquidation, then building demolition,” Gusewelle said. “Foundation demolition, general clean-up, and layout for new building and new utilities will follow,” he added.
A subcontractor of Power Construction Company, LLC, Robinette Demo-lition, will be completing the demolition.
According to Gueswelle, “all sidewalks and streets are expected to remain open. Potential daily lane closures will occur when utility disconnects are necessary.”
City of St. Charles will work with Power Construction to coordinate these efforts to ensure minimal traffic and environmental impacts. Water will be applied to control dust during the demolition work if needed, according to Gueswelle. To keep debris from entering the river, a silt fence will be installed per the design drawings to prevent unwanted run-off. In addition, most materials (metals, concrete, etc.) will be recycled.
The Manor, Blue Goose and Harris Bank have each been a historical and significant addition to the City of
St. Charles. “The absence of these buildings from our cityscape will be noted,” said Beth Mund, Community and Public Affairs Division Manager, “The new buildings (1 West Main, River Terrace, and River Loft) help represent growth and change not only as part of the plans for 1st Street, but for the City of St. Charles,” she said.
The City will host public meetings regarding this demolition activity and any 1st Street Renovation Project questions or concerns on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. in the Council Committee Room at City Hall.
The IDOT has secured a contractor to replace the bridge deck at IL Rt. 25 at it's crossing of Norton Creek. The State has exe- cuted a contract with D. Construction for work tentatively scheduled to begin April 1, 2008, weather permitting. To accomplish this work, one lane of the "bridge deck" will be replaced at a time, allowing traffic to move over the bridge during construction. A temporary traffic signal will control "one-way" movements over the bridge during construction. This work is expected to take up to 3 months.
March 21, 2008
Harris Bank Re-Opening
On Friday, March 28, at 1 p.m., Harris Bank will complete another 1st Street Renovation project milestone and permanently close the doors to their drive-thru location at 50 S. 1st Street. On Monday, March 31, the doors will be open to a brand new full-service location just three blocks away. The new bank location, at 409 S. 1st Street features three drive-thru lanes (accessible off IL 31), two ATMs, a full lobby, and will be one of four full-service Harris Banks in St. Charles.
Vice President and Bank Manager Bradley Wierenga recently shared some of his enthusiasm about the new location with the City. “We have used the same developer that the city has been working with for 1st Street, making the new building a seamless project. Harris Bank has been in St. Charles since 1988, and we are very invested in the 1st Street project. The construction work in the beginning did have a dramatic impact to business; we were closed for two to three weeks at times. It greatly impacted customer traffic. But it gave us the opportunity to be in our new location, and enable our water-front location (409 S 1st Street) to be the main facility.”
Nearing completion, the Harris Bank staff looks forward to the grand opening and ribbon cutting event. Mr. Wierenga went on to say “we’re very excited to be a part of the new face of Downtown”.
The grand opening of the Harris Bank marks another great addition to the 1st Street development. Moving the project one step closer to completion.
Update. . .
Plazas and Riverwalk
Minor changes to the east and west Plazas and Riverwalk were approved by the Government Operations Committee on March 17. This will be presented to City Council for final approval on April 7. A refinement of the original plaza and riverwalk designs has resulted from the work of the 1st Street Public Space Design Committee, formed by the Mayor in January 2007. The west plaza has been named "First Street Place" and the east Plaza has been named "River Terrace Plaza." Click here to view a color rendering of the First Street Place final design.
March 14, 2008
Parking Deck/The Plaza
Good weather conditions have allowed crews to make significant progress on the exterior façade work this past week.
New Blue Goose
Another major milestone was completed on the 1st Street Renovation Project as the Blue Goose celebrated its Grand Opening on March 7th. Owner David Lencioni, along with family members and staff, helped cut the ribbon to begin the official celebration. Mayor Donald DeWitte, several City Alderman, Kane County Board representatives, the Downtown Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce, many local community members and customers attended the event. The store’s opening has been greatly anticipated and embraced throughout the City of St. Charles.
Construction on the new Harris Bank location is expected to be completed by Monday, March 17th. The old Harris Bank at 50 S. 1st Street will officially close on Friday, March 28th. The new Harris Bank location at 409 S. 1st Street will be open for business as a full service facility on March 31st. An official grand opening for Harris is planned for April.
Developers obtained a demolition permit February 28th. Demolition will begin in late spring. Building plans have also been submitted to be reviewed by staff. Early last week, the Planning & Development Committee approved the final plat of subdivision for the River Loft/Terrace Building. The plat will go in front of the City Council for final approval March 17th. Amendment of the PUD is scheduled for final approval by the City Council at the April 7th Meeting.
March 7, 2008
Another major milestone was completed today on the 1st Street Renovation project as the Blue Goose celebrated its Grand Opening event. At 10:00 Friday morning, owner David Lencioni, along with family members and staff, helped cut the ribbon to begin the official celebration. Mayor Donald DeWitte, several City Alderman, Kane County Board representatives, the Downtown Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, customers and many local community members
attended the event. The store’s opening has been greatly anticipated and embraced throughout the City of St. Charles.
Third generation owner David Lencioni recently expressed his enthusiasm regarding the new 30,000 square foot facility and how the supermarket has worked with the City as part of the 1st Street Redevelopment.
“The project has been trying at times- any project of this size is a collaboration and partnership, said Lencioni. “Wonderful things have been done at the City level and in the planning and zoning department,” he continued. Embracing the success of today’s grand opening event, Lencioni shared some advice for other businesses looking to join the 1st Street project. “Do it, it’s going to be great,” and noted the unique layout of the development. “1st Street is an attraction for a much wider area than St. Charles, but will also bring local people downtown. The development is the biggest thing to happen to St. Charles in my lifetime.”
Just shy of doubling the size of the old store, the new Blue Goose has many new amenities including, two self-check-out registers, new wine and sushi choices and a new coffee bar. Windows line the upper section of the store and historic pictures adorn the walls. Demolition of the old Blue Goose building is scheduled to take place at the end of March.