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Local

New year to bring 'exciting' changes to Geneva

New development, redevelopment, activities on tap

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns talks about what residents can expect in 2019.
Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns talks about what residents can expect in 2019.

GENEVA – Geneva residents can look forward to development and changes to some of its traditional events in 2019.

Mayor Kevin Burns said residents will have the promise of a “bevy of exciting news” ahead.

“Top amongst them include the Fresh Thyme opening on Randall Road,” Burns said.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, part of a chain of organic grocery stores, will open in a portion of the former Dominick’s store at 2000 S. Randall Rd., Geneva.

A spokeswoman for the company stated in an email that they expect to open in early 2019.

Another high point for Geneva in the new year will be continued advancement of the shuttered Settlers Hill landfill as it becomes a cross country course, Burns said.

Another advancement for the city will be movement on development of the Mill Race Inn property, southwest corner of Routes 38 and 25, Burns said.

According to the city’s website, Geneva and the Shodeen Family Foundation are seeking proposals for a company to lead a five-day planning charrette – an intense period of planning – for the site, at 4 E. State St.

The intent is to create community consensus on a design for future retail, lodging, residential and/or mixed use redevelopment of the parcel, according to the city’s website.

The purpose is to create development that serves as an attractive gateway into downtown Geneva and maximizes the riverfront as an accessible community asset, according to the city’s website.

Geneva Chamber of Commerce President Paula Schmidt said residents can expect some changes to its festivals and perhaps the addition of another festival in the new year.

“We will probably be reworking Swedish Days,” Schmidt said. “A few changes and tweaks we are kind of looking forward to that people can get excited about.”

As the details were still being worked out, Schmidt would only say that people would see a lot of the same activities, but things would be a little different.

“We’re gong to try and make it more quality than quantity,” Schmidt said. “We’re going to have better bands on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

Festival of the Vine will be different, Schmidt said, as the chamber is looking for a larger location than the vacant lot on Fourth and State streets.

“It will be on a different street,” Schmidt said, adding she could not be more specific yet. “It was just approved by the chamber but we have not yet made application to the city.”

The chamber will also try to create small festivals for January and February to bring people to the downtown, Schmidt said.

“We have Restaurant Week, but we’re looking at possibly doing another smaller festival or a walking tour type of thing,” Schmidt said. “I can’t say because it’s not approved yet.”

Schmidt said changes might be coming for Christas Walk, as the chamber waits to hear if the Great Tree on the courthouse lawn can survive the damage it endured in the blizzard and ice storm that occurred Nov. 25-26.

If the tree cannot be saved, the chamber would begin a fundraiser to buy a new tree, she said.

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