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updated: 4/17/2013 7:58 PM

Naperville approves $7.5 million in Water Street incentives

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  • Naperville City Council members Tuesday approved a rebate of up to $7.5 million of sales and hotel tax revenues to the downtown Water Street District.

      Naperville City Council members Tuesday approved a rebate of up to $7.5 million of sales and hotel tax revenues to the downtown Water Street District.
    Rendering courtesy of Marquette Companies

 
 

The final piece of downtown Naperville's Water Street puzzle was pushed into place, as city council members agreed to rebate as much as $7.5 million to the developer during the next 20 years.

Marquette Companies officials walked into Tuesday night's meeting asking for a rebate of as much as 75 percent of the sales tax revenue generated from the $85 million development but, through negotiation, lowered the request to 50 percent. The city will also rebate 100 percent of the development's hotel tax payments until the $7.5 million is reached.

City officials long expected the $7.5 million request but were surprised by the inclusion of sales tax revenues.

"It is probably one of the more complicated requests that the city has considered, simply because there are so many facets to it," City Manager Doug Krieger said.

Developers maintain the incentive is necessary for the 2.4-acre development on Water Street, which will include a 166-room hotel, 71,000 square feet of commercial space, 26,000 square feet of office use, a 524-space parking deck, improvements along the south shore of the Riverwalk, and a pedestrian bridge connecting the hotel and the loggia buildings, to succeed.

They estimate the development will generate more than $28 million in tax revenues by 2034.

Marquette Companies President and CEO Nick Ryan said the area of the project, bordered by Main Street, Aurora Avenue, Webster Street and the West Branch of the DuPage River, needs help.

"This side of the river has been basically obsolete for a long time," Ryan said. "It needs a jolt and everyone who runs a business in this town knows it. That's why they support (the development)."

Councilman Paul Hinterlong said he was originally hesitant to give the development any additional relief. But then he saw the projections.

"Previously I was dead set against any kind of incentives for this project, but the numbers seem to work out pretty favorably for us," he said. "We get a 341 percent on that $7.5 million dollars, which I never dreamed I would ever see. I don't know we're ever going to do better."

Councilman Joe McElroy said the incentives will only help make a "bigger economic development pie," from which everyone could benefit.

Councilmen Doug Krause and Grant Wehrli cast the two dissenting votes, as they have throughout the approval process.

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