First Street Downtown Redevelopment

St. Charles, IL

St. Charles is a quaint, small town situated on the Fox River west of Chicago. While the city has an existing core of successful businesses, city officials believed that the adjacent Fox River and the presence of underutilized land parcels offered the potential for a downtown with commercial, residential and recreational critical mass that could complement the existing commercial district. An ambitious redevelopment plan for a five-block area in the southern business district was designed. The development program features a blend of mixed use buildings which combine ground-floor commercial with various residential components above.

All buildings feature stylized elevations in character with the existing historic architecture. The need for additional parking is accommodated through a combination of on-street, surface lots and garage decks situated behind the mixed use buildings in a convenient location but out of view from the street. Additionally, better use was made of prime waterfront property to create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape by relocating an existing grocery store to enable development of a riverfront promenade to link downtown with the residential neighborhoods to the south.