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updated: 12/17/2012 12:28 PM

Naperville officials expect Water Street plan to resurface

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  • Naperville officials expect Marquette Companies will take another stab at developing the Water Street property, just east of the city's municipal center.

      Naperville officials expect Marquette Companies will take another stab at developing the Water Street property, just east of the city's municipal center.
    Rendering courtesy of Marquette Companies

 
 

Naperville officials aren't likely to see any plans for a revised Water Street project in the immediate future, but some predict a new proposal will resurface before spring.

City council members earlier this month rejected the most recent concept for the multiuse development that would include a hotel, rooftop restaurant, office and retail space and parking garage just east of city hall and near the downtown Riverwalk.

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Supporters of the long-discussed proposal say the development would bring added excitement and vibrancy to downtown.

Critics, though, have raised questions about the height and density of the complex and its possible impact on downtown traffic and parking.

The city council earlier this month rejected the most recent version of the plan submitted by Marquette Companies and indicated any revised proposal must be submitted to the plan commission and begin the approval process anew.

That decision appeared to catch Marquette officials by surprise. They said many of the recent revisions to the Water Street plan were sparked by their desire to respond to concerns raised by residents and council members.

In its most recent submission, Marquette Companies scrapped a proposal for 62 apartments in the complex and agreed to reduce the height of the development's tallest point to 82 feet from 90 feet.

In addition, the Holiday Inn Express hotel planned for the site, between the DuPage River and Aurora Avenue, with Webster and Main streets as its east-west boundaries, was downsized from six stories to five.

The developer said roughly 163 to 177 hotel rooms would be in a building on the south side of Water Street, with between 62 and 76 on the north side in a building bordering the DuPage River. A pedestrian bridge first proposed in 2010 to connect the second floor of both buildings was brought back into the design.

A rooftop restaurant on the hotel was to bring the development's highest point to 82 feet, while most of the main building would have remained at 65 feet.

If developers intend to resubmit a proposal at this point, they must start over by sending new plans to the city's planning and zoning commission. Officials say that hasn't happened yet and probably won't before the end of the year.

Marquette Companies Director Jeff Prosapio said company employees and attorneys are under a "strict no-comment" order from Marquette President Bruno Bottarelli "as we continue to figure out just where we go next."

City Manager Doug Krieger said he still expects the company to submit new plans, likely before the spring and definitely before the April election.

"While we have gotten no formal word from the developer, I would be shocked if they pulled the plug," Krieger said. "Every step of the way, they have continued to attempt to find an acceptable development solution."

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