ST. CHARLES – Plans to redevelop the former Manor Restaurant site in downtown St. Charles as a public plaza continue to move forward.
At the St. Charles City Council's Planning and Development Committee meeting on Monday, aldermen recommended approval of concept plans for the project and recommended the city hire Chicago-based Serena Sturm Architects to develop schematic designs at a cost of $166,729.
Concept plans include a ramp and bridge walkway expansion to provide an expanded pedestrian platform at the plaza and Main Street; a terrace to provide space for gathering and community events; rain gardens and mini-swales to provide stormwater collection and cleansing opportunities and solar panel canopies that would provide energy.
In January, 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. 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.
The St. Charles Initiative, an independent advisory committee under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, is raising funds for the project. The St. Charles Initiative is chaired by 4th Ward Alderman Lora Vitek.
The St Charles Initiative had recommended that the city enter agreement with Serena Sturm. The project is expected to cost $4 million, including an estimated $2.4 million in construction costs.
There is $2.31 million available in revenue to cover the project's cost. The St. Charles Initiative expects to cover the $1.69 million shortfall with donations and sponsorships.
Construction of the project is expected to begin next summer.