ST. CHARLES – Residential and commercial development in St. Charles are complementing each other and hitting critical mass.
That is going to be apparent in 2018, with a veritable chain reaction of construction activity from one end of the city to the other.
The nucleus is downtown, where the ambitious First Street redevelopment project is expanding rapidly.
“The intention has been to keep the activity moving,” St. Charles Director of Community and Economic Development Rita Tungare said.
The five-story Sterling Bank building, which stretches out along the west bank of the Fox River immediately north of Illinois Street, is under roof and expected to be complete in June, Tungare said.
In addition to the bank, the structure will be home to 12 residential condominiums, as well as retail and restaurant space.
Meanwhile, construction will start this spring on the Riverloft building, another five-story mixed-use structure, along the east side of South First Street.
The building will have retail and restaurant space on the first floor, offices on the second and 14 residential condominiums on the upper floors, Tungare said.
The First Street project’s momentum is creating a bustling pedestrian-oriented downtown of residences, shops and eateries.
“It’s doing what it was intended to do,” Tungare said.
One big employer, ALE Solutions Inc. – which works with insurance companies to find homes temporarily for families impacted by major storms – celebrated the opening of its new corporate office in the First Street redevelopment Dec. 8. ALE’s new space occupies the top three floors of the four-story building at First and Illinois streets.
West of the downtown, construction on a new station for the St. Charles Police Department will get underway early this year, with the building expected to be complete by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
In the meantime, St. Charles officials will be considering what to do with the existing station on the east bank of the Fox River downtown.
“That’s prime riverfront property there,” Tungare said.
Farther west, new businesses developments are on the way.
Construction is expected to get underway this summer on a new Audi automobile dealership along Woodward Drive, just northwest of the intersection of Randall Road and West Main Street Tungare said.
Also, burger chain Culver’s, which already has an outlet on the east side of the city, is expected to open a new restaurant on the west side of Randall Road, just north of the Discount Tire store, Tungare said.
The long-awaited redevelopment of the former St. Charles Mall site on Route 38 is expected to start with site and utility work in 2018.
Geneva-based Shodeen Construction is planning to build a mixed-use project known as Prairie Centre, with 670 residential apartments and somewhere between 80,000 and 116,000 square feet of commercial space on the 27-acre site.
Construction already is underway for Prairie Winds, a 250-unit multiple-family residential development on the north side of Bricher Road, immediately west of the Lowes store, between Randall and Peck roads.
Residents already are moving in, and the entire project, which includes a club house, pool and dog park, is expected to be completed by fall 2018.
Residential and commercial development is on the way on the east side of St. Charles as well.
The 90-unit Silverado Memory Care facility at 4058 E. Main St. is under construction and will open in 2018, serving people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Main Street Commons just east of Kirk Road will see the opening of a Ross discount apparel store at the south end of the shopping center early in 2018, bringing the center back to full occupancy, Tungare said.
And, of course, redevelopment plans are moving ahead at the Charlestowne Mall, which is rebranding itself as The Quad of St. Charles.
This past year saw the opening of the Cooper’s Hawk restaurant and a Starbucks.
Concept plans include additional free-standing commercial buildings, as well as 155 townhouse units north of the mall and 256 apartments to the east.
To help make room, plans are being formulated to demolish a significant portion of the mall building, leaving the Von Maur, Carson Pirie Scott and Classic Cinemas anchor tenants in place.