Proposed five-story apartment building in St. Charles doesn’t sit well with nearby residents

A proposed five-story apartment building along the Fox River is off to a rocky start in St. Charles.

Local developers Curt and Conrad Hurst of Frontier Development presented a concept plan for the structure at Tuesday’s plan commission meeting and were met with 45 minutes of comments from nearby residents who oppose the design and placement of the building at the southeast corner of Riverside Avenue and Illinois Avenue.

Located south of the Arcada Theatre and Flagship on the Fox on the east bank of the Fox River, the site is just west of residential neighborhoods. From the size of the structure to parking problems, residents voiced a series of complaints on Tuesday.

“Don’t take the good things that we’ve done and bully this project into a place it’s not supposed to be,” said nearby resident Rob Sheridan. “This is not a good fit.”

The plan calls for ground-floor parking and retail space -- Curt Hurst said Sammy’s Bikes has agreed to move there -- with 48 apartments on the upper floors. The aim is to build upon the existing building formerly occupied by the Chamber of Commerce.

The development would encompass 64,000 square feet and stand 63 feet tall. The ATM and parking at the north end would remain, and 19 parking spaces would be added to create 67 total.

Closure of a portion of Indiana Avenue is part of the plan, along with future plans of utilizing a city-owned parcel south of the site for additional parking and open space.

“We’ll admit that the plans at this stage are very raw,” Curt Hurst said. “You have to kind of look at it with what the intentions are as opposed to the specific things within it because they’re not fully developed. We continue to develop them as we get input, as we think of things, as we look around at what’s happening in the rest of downtown St. Charles.”

Residents say parking problems already exist in that area, especially during busy downtown events, and the addition of 48 households will worsen the situation and force more cars to park on their streets.

Commissioner Jeff Funke, noting the complaints about the height of the building blocking views of the river, suggested a shadow study to determine how a 63-foot building would impact sunlight in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Resident Bob Kershner responded by saying, “I can save the city some money. It’s going to be nighttime for the residents on (2nd Avenue) after one o’clock in the afternoon.”

The plan next heads to the city’s aldermen at the Aug. 9 planning and development committee meeting.