ST. CHARLES – Those who have driven around St. Charles lately probably have seen all the development that is occurring across the city.
St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina and 1st Ward Alderman Dan Stellato gave St. Charles Chamber of Commerce members an overview of what is happening in the city during a St. Charles Chamber luncheon on Oct. 8 at the St. Charles Country Club.
Rogina talked about the developer of the Tin Cup Pass shopping center at East Main Street and Tyler Road giving the shopping center a facelift. The shopping center will be renamed Stone Creek.
"The renderings [show] there's going to be a cafe brought in where the old Gino's [East] restaurant was," he said. "The project is a great shot in the arm and I'm very happy to see that happening. And I think a lot of you feel the same way. It did need work."
In other development news, Stellato said he remains optimistic the redevelopment of the Charlestowne Mall will move forward. In December 2017, Krausz Companies Inc. – owner of the mall, which it renamed The Quad – closed the interior shops and enclosed mall space at the center. Anchors Von Mauer and Classic Cinemas remain open.
Concept plans submitted in May 2017 included reducing the size of the mall building and building 155 townhouse units north of the mall and 256 apartment units east of the mall.
"Nothing will ever be redeveloped again as just pure retail," Stellato said. "It's not going to happen. The world was different 29 years ago. So what's it going to be? It's going to have to be mixed use, just like Prairie Centre on the west side."
Rogina and Stellato talked about several development under way on the city's west side, including Prairie Centre.
"On the west side, we all know that Wahlburgers is under construction as is Starbucks next to it," Rogina said. "The project manager tells me that we're looking at an early March soft opening. So I'll hold him to that until he tells me something else."
Wahlburgers is a casual dining burger restaurant and bar owned by chef Paul Wahlberg in partnership with two of his brothers, actors Donnie and Mark. Donnie Wahlberg and his wife, actress and television/radio host Jenny McCarthy, live in St. Charles.
The restaurant is being built at the southwest corner of Route 38 and Randall Road in St. Charles near the Meijer store. Also being built on the city's west side is the Prairie Winds of St. Charles rental community and Prairie Centre, a $100 million, 27-acre development that will include 670 residential units and up to 116,000 square feet of commercial space on the former St. Charles Mall site at Route 38, just east of Randall Road.
Anthony Place, a 75-unit senior affordable housing development, also is part of the Prairie Centre project.
"The trends that we are seeing out on the west side with Prairie Winds and Prairie Centre and Anthem Heights is exactly what's happening across this country," Stellato said. "We have something happening in this country that's really never happened before – two demographic groups are living together. We have boomers and millennials living together. Nobody thought that would happen. And it is happening."
He noted that the housing market is coming back strong in St. Charles.
"If you recall, last year we talked about 2,000 new housing units coming to St. Charles," Stellato said. "One-thousand of those are either built or under construction as we speak today. So we've hit the trend that's happening across this country, which is a very diverse housing pool."
Rogina applauded the opening of the new police station at 1515 W. Main Street on the site of the former Valley Shopping Center. There will be a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Nov. 9 for the new station.
He noted the station replaced a decaying, dead strip mall that was formerly on the site.
"I think as far as urban development is concerned, it's a great project," he said.
That area also is being further redeveloped as a new car wash is being built near the station, Rogina saud.
Switching to downtown St. Charles, Stellato said the First Street redevelopment project is nearing completion.
"You will see building three being completed very shortly, Alter Brewing on the bottom and offices above along with about 15 high-end residential condos," he said.
In addition, Gia Mia plans to open in the space at 31 S. 1st St. formerly occupied by Pizzeria Neo, Stellato said.