New stores are taking shape -- along with new sidewalks and street improvements -- as part of the Main Street Promenade East development in downtown Naperville.
Shops at the northeast corner of Main Street and Van Buren Avenue are expected to begin opening as soon as August, with more new businesses welcoming shoppers in September and October.
Anthropologie, Bluemercury, DavidsTea, Frost Gelato, Ever Eve (formerly Hot Mama), J. Crew and Michael Graham Salon and Spa are among retail tenants in the development, which also will include office space for a Regus business center on the second floor.
"We're delighted to have these great new districts like the Main Street Promenade East ... that are going to help expand and grow the downtown," said Katie Wood, executive director of Downtown Naperville Alliance. "The services each of these new districts are going to provide are going to be wonderful."
Ever Eve is set to open first in August as a rebirth of the Naperville shop Hot Mama, said Ruth Yackley of BBM Inc., which is building Promenade East. J. Crew is scheduled to open in mid-September and Anthropologie in mid-October, she said. Other tenants are working on the interiors of their stores but have not set opening dates.
"It's still been working out even though we've had our challenges with snow and cold and rain," Yackley said about construction of the new shops and offices. "I think it'll add a lot of traffic to the entire downtown."
When construction on Promenade East began last October, the city closed a one-block section of Main Street between Van Buren and Benton avenues to upgrade electrical infrastructure and add parking spaces to both sides.
Work on the street itself is scheduled to be complete in early August, said Bill Novack, Naperville's director of transportation, engineering and development. He said the city will reopen Main Street between Van Buren and Benton avenues once it is safe for drivers and pedestrians, which means officials will wait to remove barricades until facade work on the new stores is finished.
Novack said city staff members plan to meet with developers next week to determine a targeted opening date for the road.
The $30 million, 51,000-square-foot Main Street Promenade East is the second phase of three following the original Main Street Promenade, a project Yackley and her husband, Dwight, launched in 2001. On the northwest corner of Main Street and Van Buren Avenue, the original phase includes stores such as Jos. A. Bank, Sur La Table and White House Black Market, with offices on higher floors.
Promenade East is being built around the west side of the city's Van Buren parking deck, disguising the structure's plain walls and "ugly gray box" shape with "something I hope the city will be proud of," Dwight Yackley said during a groundbreaking last fall.
One storefront and a small amount of office space remain to be leased inside the building where Wood said downtown shoppers will find even more destinations this fall.
"It's going to make for a really neat holiday shopping season," Wood said.