What about the south side of downtown West Dundee? Riverwalk, parking improvements planned

  • Completing the riverwalk and parking lot upgrades between Main Street and Oregon Avenue are the key components of a second phase of West Dundee's downtown plan, for which the village recently awarded construction bids.

      Completing the riverwalk and parking lot upgrades between Main Street and Oregon Avenue are the key components of a second phase of West Dundee's downtown plan, for which the village recently awarded construction bids. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • The first phase of West Dundee's downtown included a parklet at First and Main streets with a path that stops before reaching the river's edge. With the next project phase, the riverwalk will be extended to Oregon Avenue.

      The first phase of West Dundee's downtown included a parklet at First and Main streets with a path that stops before reaching the river's edge. With the next project phase, the riverwalk will be extended to Oregon Avenue. Rick West | Staff Photographer, 2018

 
 
Posted11/5/2019 5:35 AM

Extending the West Dundee riverwalk south of Main Street is the focus of the next phase of the village's downtown project, bridging the gap between functional public improvements and the potential amenities to come.

The village board last month approved awarding a $384,000 contract to Schaumburg-based A Lamp Concrete Contractors Inc. for the work, which includes completing the meandering walking path along the Fox River, adding lighting and finalizing public parking upgrades from Route 72 to Oregon Avenue, Village Manager Joe Cavallaro said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It's a small but necessary project phase, he said, broken out for budgetary purposes and serving as an extension of the first round of improvements at First and Main Streets. The past couple of years, buildings have been demolished, the shoreline was stabilized, a parking lot was expanded, and various beautification efforts were implemented.

When phase two is completed by next spring, visitors will be able to walk along the water's edge in an area where river access has been lacking, Community Development Director Tim Scott said. A parking lot east of First Street also will be curbed, striped and paved.

"It furthers the village's effort to enhance the downtown's sense of place," he said. "It's been very present on the north side, and now it's the south side's turn to get the meaningful public space that the other side has had for years."

The work also prepares the area for future community uses, Cavallaro said, including the potential redevelopment of a century-old pump house.

The structure was torn down with the intention of using salvaged materials to rebuild it. Conversations so far have pointed to using it for restrooms and a general concession stand, Cavallaro said, which would complement the possible farmers markets, concerts and other small-scale events the village hopes to hold in the newly developed public space.

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Future project phases likely would include plans for "further amenitizing the space -- certainly something we desire," Scott said.

West Dundee recently received nearly $1.9 million in one-time fees from the Springs at Randall Road residential development and the construction of a Casey's gas station and convenience store, according to a memo from Cavallaro. A portion of those funds will be used for the riverwalk and parking lot improvements in phase two, while the remainder will be held for future capital projects.

The village's commitment to making public improvements has helped spur private investment in recent years, Scott said, including the redevelopment of various buildings and the attraction of new tenants, "whether they're specialty retail, restaurant, entertainment or office." In turn, officials have noticed more economic and pedestrian activity downtown.

"This next phase allows us to further realize an integrated downtown of built environment and businesses and public amenities," Scott said. "They all work in concert with each other."

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