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 that would have the type of commercial, residential and recreational critical mass that would complement the city’s existing commercial district. An ambitious redevelopment plan for a five-block area in the city’s 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 city’s 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 and to create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape environment by relocating an existing grocery store that resides on a riverfront parcel and the development of a riverfront promenade that would link the downtown with the residential neighborhoods to the south.