ST. CHARLES – Aldermen are receptive to plans to build a four-story residential building on one of the remaining lots in the First Street redevelopment project in downtown St. Charles.
At their meeting Tuesday, aldermen on the St. Charles City Council's Government Operations Committee unanimously recommended approval of a memorandum of understanding to designate R&B Development as the developer for building 7B. The agreement would authorize the developer to apply for zoning/PUD approvals during a 120-day period.
"The goal would be to present the project for final approval within the 120 day period, so construction can commence during the 2020 construction season," Rita Tungare, the city's director of community and economic development, told aldermen.
R&B Development, LLC, comprised of Bob Rasmussen and Rick Dahl, propose to build a 21-unit rental building on the city-owned grassy lot just east of Blue Goose Market along First Street.
The building would comprise of 21 rental residential units – 6 two-bedroom units and 15 one-bedroom units along with ground-level parking containing 19 parking spaces. Rasmussen has been involved in the First Street redevelopment project over the years.
R&B Development has suggested the city design and pay for the developer to complete the adjacent streetscape along First Street.
"The street parking, curbs and lighting are already in place," Tungare. "So what is remaining essentially is the final sidewalk/paver surface and some landscaping."
Second Ward Aldermen Rita Anne Payleitner did voice concerns that 19 parking spaces would not be sufficient to handle the needs of the building. She was concerned that the residents in the building would end up parking in spaces designated for merchants in the area.
But 4th Ward Alderman Lora Vitek thought the number of spaces was appropriate.
"The issue is proximity to location and not necessarily spaces used," she said. "We're trying to promote walkability in our town. I'm comfortable with everything."
Fifth Ward Aldermen Maureen Lewis, chairman of the City Council's Government Operations Committee, said she would like to see changes made to the building's appearance.
"I think we have a ways to go on the color and the design and making it a little more compatible with the other buildings," Lewis said.
Rasmussen and Dahl previously worked together on the Heritage Green project, which included renovation of the Judd Mansion and completion of the surrounding townhomes, according to a city memo.
The First Street redevelopment project is nearing completion. Earlier this month, aldermen unanimously voted to purchase the former Manor Restaurant site in downtown St. Charles for $1 million in order to expand the 1st Street East Plaza.
As City Administrator Mark Koenen told aldermen, the expansion of the 1st Street East Plaza project is being funded in part with the financial support from Exelon, which is providing $600,000 toward the project.