Naperville's Water Street 'starting to light up'

At one corner of the block now known as the Water Street District in downtown Naperville sits a quarter-acre site that doesn't belong to the developer who is revitalizing the area with a hotel, shops and restaurants.

But that doesn't mean the land at the northeast corner of Water and Main streets will miss out on the improvements along the block that once held a string of low-lying, underused buildings.

The land is soon to be home to a mixed-use building called River Main, property owner Steve Rubin says. The four-story building will house retail on the first floor, offices and retail or a restaurant on the second floor, and offices on the third and fourth floors as it looks out on the West Branch of the DuPage River and the rest of the downtown

Naperville City Council gave unanimous approval to the 23,858-square-foot building Tuesday, meaning construction could start in three to five months and wrap up within nine months to a year.

"I think it'll be an exciting building," Rubin said. "A focal point of the whole district."

To blend in with the $93 million Water Street District project to the west, River Main will include consistent paving, street furniture and plantings, and a Riverwalk extension to be built to its north will use matching permeable pavers, according to a city staff memo about the project.

The building's height at 52 feet, 8 inches also is consistent with nearby new additions to the downtown, which include a 520-space parking garage, a 158-room hotel, five restaurants, five historical murals, a new fountain and a plaza.

The first of the restaurants in the Water Street District, built by Naperville developer Marquette Companies, is a Mexican spot called Quiubo that opened Wednesday.

"The whole street is really starting to light up as new operations come on line," Rubin said.

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