St. Charles OKs new buildings, parking garage for First Street
The St. Charles city council signed off on a final agreement Monday to restart the most important piece of First Street development -- new buildings and a parking garage -- on an ambitious two-year completion schedule.
Aldermen gave final approval to a new deal to complete the third phase of the First Street development with the same redevelopment team the city fired last year.
Aldermen were persuaded to give the development team a second chance after the inking of a contract with a major existing downtown employer, ALE Solutions, as the anchor tenant and owner of three floors of office space in one of three new mixed-use buildings.
"We've come a long way, baby," St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina said. "We're not done yet. But I just want to say that I'm happy that we passed this. I wish nothing but the best for First Street Development LLC II. I want to see a wonderful development down on First Street in the next couple of years."
The third phase is considered the most important phase because the mixed-use buildings are expected to draw new, first-floor stores and restaurants, creating a key destination for shoppers and diners in the area.
The city will also pay the developers $1.9 million to construct a new parking garage and retain ownership over the land and public improvements throughout the construction process. That ensures any new glitches with the development team would still leave the city with a clean slate and a much easier path to luring a new developer to town than it's had throughout the First Street process.
Also affecting the downtown area, aldermen signed off on a series of increased fines for many of the behaviors exhibited by downtown bar patrons that officials want to curb.
Fighting, public intoxication and public urination will carry new fines of up to $750 for multiple-time offenders.