Developer for Naperville's 5th Avenue aims for global health-wellness standard

  • Courtesy of Ryan CompaniesThis rendering shows Ryan Companies' vision for redeveloping 5th Avenue near the Naperville Metra station.

    Courtesy of Ryan CompaniesThis rendering shows Ryan Companies' vision for redeveloping 5th Avenue near the Naperville Metra station.

Updated 9/18/2019 5:25 PM

A new baseline design for 5th Avenue near the Naperville Metra station aims for a future redeveloped community to be the first in Illinois -- and second in the nation -- to meet a global standard for health and wellness.

Developer Ryan Companies released the new baseline Tuesday, saying it plans to seek WELL Certified Community status from the International WELL Building Institute.


The designation would prove a commitment to supporting health, wellness and social engagement through consideration of factors such as air, water, light, sound, thermal comfort, nourishment, movement, mind, materials and community.

The design also incorporates features city leaders have sought during discussions since February 2017 about how to revamp the area of 13 city-owned acres that includes several parking lots, the site of a now-demolished public works building and the DuPage Children's Museum.

The new baseline includes 253 more commuter parking spaces than the 1,681 already there. It incorporates affordable housing and workforce-affordable housing, which weren't initially included. It keeps the DuPage Children's Museum in place, builds a new pedestrian tunnel west of Washington Street and adds more green space and a larger public plaza.

"We envision this development to be a year-round hub of connectivity for the community," Ryan Companies wrote in a summary of the new baseline plan, "Our goal is to create a concept that celebrates diversity because we believe communities that embrace diversity thrive."

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The new plan includes a six-story parking deck at the DuPage Children's Museum, three five-story apartment buildings, a five-story office building, a two-story flexible-space building and a cluster of rowhouses. All would be around the current 5th Avenue Station apartment and office center inside the former Kroehler furniture manufacturing factory.

The plan enlarges a public plaza to 71,000 square feet and includes elements such as gathering spaces, recreational green spaces, an ice rink and an interactive water feature.

Ryan Companies estimates the entire project would cost $287 million. The price is down from the estimated $334 million to $353 million it would have cost to build either of two initial designs released in August 2018, which were larger and more dense.

The firm says the new cost estimate is not final and will change as Naperville residents and leaders discuss the plan and request refinements.

Ryan Companies is scheduled to present the new concept during a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the council chambers at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. The concept also will be discussed during a meeting of the 5th Avenue steering committee, scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in meeting rooms A and B on the lower level of the municipal center, and at a city council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1.

These meetings will take place as Ryan Companies continues to work on market studies, land appraisals, funding strategies and gathering input from Metra and Pace transit services.

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