Demolition to clear way for Naperville's new Water Street District

Developers of the Water Street District in downtown Naperville say they're "elated" to begin work on the so-called "game-changing" hospitality complex along the DuPage River.

Nick Ryan, CEO of Water Street's Naperville-based developer Marquette Companies, said Friday the $93 million district will bring a Hotel Indigo, a banquet center, shops, restaurants, parking and eventually offices to an underused 2.4-acre area just south of the river.

"It will be incredible," Ryan said. "(There's) nothing like it in the entire Chicagoland area."

Crews next week will begin to demolish buildings on the site along both sides of Water Street from Main to Webster streets just east of the Naperville Municipal Center. The one-block stretch of Water Street will be closed to drivers and pedestrians and isn't expected to reopen until the development is complete near the end of next year, said Anastasia Urban, development manager for the city.

"Starting next week, you'll see the contractor start to mobilize," Urban said. "One of the first tasks that they'll undertake is demolition of the existing structures."

Contractors soon will begin moving utilities and placing sandbags in the river to create a dry working space to make Riverwalk improvements. A new segment of the path will be added, with upper- and lower-level walkways, from the Naperville Township building at the northwest corner of Webster and Water to the eastern edge of the development at Main Street.

Construction of the hotel, which will include portions north and south of Water Street connected with an elevated walkway, will take place at the same time as construction of a 520-space parking garage on the south side of the street.

The city, which is paying $18.4 million for public improvements at the development, will own the parking garage and lease 120 of its spaces back to the hotel. The rest will be open for anyone's use, but many spaces eventually are expected to be used by employees of the hotel, shops, restaurants and offices.

Restaurants planned for the district will offer outdoor patios and rooftop dining, Ryan said.

"The outdoor restaurant dining on the plaza and riverfront will give diners an extraordinary experience as well," Ryan said. "The buildings will be delivered for interior decorating and finish in spring 2016 for summer and fall openings."

Plans for the Water Street District surfaced in 2007 and shifted from including condos to apartments and a Holiday Inn Express to the final version anchored with a boutique Hotel Indigo with 158 rooms.

Work was supposed to begin a year ago but was delayed because of weather, design details and changes to add a banquet facility and accommodate space needs of certain tenants.

City council members who questioned building height, parking plans and density of development "challenged us to produce the best possible project" for the benefit of the city, Ryan said in a news release.

  Buildings along Water Street in downtown Naperville are set to be torn down beginning next week to make way for the future hotel, parking, restaurants, shops and banquet center of the Water Street District. Daniel White/
  Demolition is set to begin next week along Water Street in downtown Naperville, where Marquette Companies soon will begin constructing a hotel, banquet center, parking garage, restaurants, shops and eventually offices. Daniel White/
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