News - Kane County

St. Charles First Street Plaza expansion project takes another step forward

St. Charles City Council approves preliminary plan for project

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.

The St. Charles City Council on Jan. 17 approved a planned use development preliminary plan for the First Street Plaza expansion project. The city now will solicit bids for the project.

Bids are expected to be presented to the City Council in March for consideration. The project’s first phase was completed last spring and the second phase is estimated to cost $2.6 million and take nine months to complete.

The first phase included building a retaining wall along the Fox River and filling in the hole where the Manor Restaurant had been located following its demolition. The second phase of the project includes constructing a plaza featuring a solar pergola trellis along with the installation of public art.

Plans also call for closing a section of First Street to vehicles to create a pedestrian walkway.

Some alderpersons said they don’t want to commit to all of the elements in the project until they know the project’s costs.

“A better understanding of the project’s costs is really critical in taking our next steps,” 2nd Ward Alderperson Rita Payleitner said during a City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting earlier this month.

During the bidding process, Public Works Director Peter Suhr said the city will be asking for a “breakdown of their entire costs so we can use that to create any answers that you need in regards to cost and what each component of the project costs.”

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. City Administrator Heather McGuire has said fundraising efforts will continue.

“The initiative would absolutely love to hand the city a check for 100% of the project,” she said.