The new year is expected to bring several redevelopment plans to St. Charles, including ideas for the largely vacant Charlestowne Mall on the city’s east side.
St. Charles Mayor Lora Vitek said she expects Schaumburg-based UrbanStreet Group to present its plans soon. She said she has encouraged UrbanStreet to submit a concept plan in the next few months.
Vitek expects the plan will call for a mixed-use development, including residential use, along with recreational and/or commercial uses.
“That’s kind of been the direction we’ve given them, something to really enhance the east side,” Vitek said. “I would say that we will see something at the committee level of the City Council, probably by March at the latest. I’m hoping by February.”
A plan to redevelop the mall was shelved last year when several St. Charles alderpersons and plan commissioners questioned whether a previous proposal was the best plan for the site.
The partnership of S.R. Jacobson Development Corp. and Lormax Stern Development Co. previously had entered into a purchase agreement for the property with current owners, The Krausz Companies. In December 2017, Krausz closed the interior shops and enclosed mall space at the center.
Previous plans were to raze the majority of the mall to make way for 560 apartments and townhouses, a hotel and new restaurants and retail along East Main Street. During a City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting last January, several alderpersons raised concerns about the number of units being proposed along with the layout of the plan.
“It’s a good plan, but the question is, is this the best use of space?” 2nd Ward Alderperson Ryan Bongard said at that meeting. “In speaking with constituents, they don’t want to see 500 apartments.”
One of UrbanStreet Group’s recent projects is turning the former Motorola headquarters in Schaumburg into a mixed-use living and entertainment district.
“They are very reputable and I’ve met with them and I feel good about that partnership,” Vitek said.
The city’s east side already is seeing its share of development, including new residential projects. And while the former Pheasant Run property has yet to be redeveloped, McGrath Honda redeveloped the former Pheasant Run Mega Center adjacent to the property and industrial buildings will be built on the former Pheasant Run Resort golf course.
In addition, a former bank building next to the Foxfield Commons shopping center on St. Charles’ east side recently was torn down to make way for an Andy’s Frozen Custard store and a Physicians Immediate Care center, along with the redevelopment of the former Idle Hour Theater in downtown St. Charles.
The redevelopment of land at the southeast corner of Kirk Road and East Main Street for a Pride gas station also continues to move forward. Warrenville-based CIMA Developers submitted plans to develop an eight-pump Pride gas station on a 2.37-acre parcel known as the Regole family homestead.
The plans also include the construction of a 4,500-square-foot convenience store with a quick-serve restaurant, Taco Urbano, as well as an automatic car wash.
“We are developing and things are coming that meet the needs of the residents,” Vitek said.
Plans also are being made in the rest of the city as well. Plans to expand First Street Plaza in downtown St. Charles continue to move forward.
At their Dec. 20 meeting, St. Charles plan commissioners unanimously recommended approval of the plans, which went to the St. Charles City Council’s Planning and Development Committee on Jan. 9 for review.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” Vitek said about the plaza expansion plans. “There’s a list of donors that’s a mile long.”
The expansion project includes a large egg-shaped gathering plaza that is surrounded by a solar panel covered trellis and walking paths. 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.
Vitek also hopes that talks are successful in bringing a new grocery store to the now-closed Blue Goose Market in the city’s downtown. Blue Goose closed its doors in March 2022 after being in business for more than 90 years.
Third Ward Alderperson Paul Lencioni, whose great-grandmother, Annunciata “Nancy” Lencioni, opened the Blue Goose Fruit Market In 1928, has said he hopes the building will remain a grocery store.
“It is my greatest wish that the property stays a supermarket and I’ve been working very hard to make sure that happens,” Lencioni said.