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STC aldermen see plans for First Street

ST. CHARLES – The west bank of the Fox River soon might be developed along First Street in downtown St. Charles.

Bob Rasmussen of First Street LLC told the Planning and Development Committee on Monday that he hopes to break ground on the next phase of the First Street Redevelopment project in April.

“I’m encouraged to hear some progress being made, finally,” 4th Ward Alderman Jim Martin said after Rasmussen presented concept plans for the site.

The St. Charles City Council has granted seven construction extensions for the project since the final plat was recorded in December 2008.

The site is bordered by Illinois, First and Main streets in downtown St. Charles.

The most recent extension is set to expire Aug. 20.

The committee voted to extend the agreement by 90 days as First Street LLC continues to develop the concept further.

Rasmussen presented aldermen with two plans: one calling for four buildings and another calling for three.

Both plans included a parking structure and a mix of housing – apartments and condominiums – and restaurant, retail and office space on the first floor.

“We believe very strongly we’re going to bring some great people,” Rasmussen said, referring to future residents.

Because Rasmussen presented concept plans, the committee didn’t take a formal vote but offered their opinions. Several favored the plan with three buildings, which provided more open space along the river.

“Looks good,” 1st Ward Alderman Ron Silkaitis said.

“I definitely prefer the three-building plan,” 4th Ward Alderman Jo Krieger said. “Like Jim, I am also encouraged to see some progress.”

Residents also provided some input.

Vanessa Bell-LaSota asked about walkability along the river, and Rasmussen pointed out space between the east-most building and the river.

John Rabchuk said he hopes development’s design stands out.

“This is a unique spot in St. Charles,” he said.

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