5th Avenue Project

The area along 5th Avenue near the Naperville Metra station has long been a topic of conversation in the community for its potential to accommodate different uses. The area has previously been the focus of a planning area study completed in 2009 and other feasibility studies.

The City is now considering opportunities to potentially reimagine certain properties in this area, including:

  • Kroehler Lot - Located at the NE corner of 5th Avenue/Loomis Street.
  • Water Tower West Site - Located at the SE corner of 5th Avenue/Loomis Street.
  • Lower Burlington Lot - Located at the SE corner of 5th Avenue/Washington Street.
  • 190 E. 5th Avenue (f.k.a. Boecker Property) - Located immediately north of the Upper Burlington Lot.
  • Parkview Lot - Located at the signalized intersection of North Avenue/Washington Street.
  • DuPage Children’s Museum - Located on west side of Washington Street at the terminus of North Avenue.
  • Upper Burlington Lot - Located immediately north of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, south of 5th Avenue.

Process - Updated November 21, 2018

5th Avenue timeline

In beginning the 5th Avenue development process, the City sought a developer who could best guide it through this process, including community engagement. The selection process began as a procurement, and on February 21, 2017, the City Council approved the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to provide a fair and level playing field for developers to submit their qualifications to the City.

After releasing the RFQ in February, firms had until May 2017 to respond in writing. Eight companies responded. After reviewing and scoring the written proposals, five teams were asked to participate in 2-hour interviews. (RFQ responses are included on the 5th Avenue Background Information page.) After interviewing the five teams, it was determined by the RFQ scoring committee that the experience, resources and capabilities of one firm (Ryan Companies) exceeded the qualifications of the other proposers.

At its October 3, 2017 meeting, the City Council voted to partner with Ryan Companies and begin the community engagement process for the 5th Avenue Project. Ryan Companies is required to provide an update to the City Council at their meetings every 60 days to obtain approval from Council to continue moving forward with the project. 

Community Engagement

View Community Engagement Plan

The first two public meetings about the project were held on October 16 and 17, 2017, and allowed 200 attendees to learn more about the initial community engagement plan in greater detail and sign up for future engagement opportunities. Following these meetings, smaller group input sessions allowed over 160 residents, commuters and business owners to share their ideas through nine sessions.

Throughout the winter of 2017-18, a 15-member Steering Committee was formed to help provide Ryan Companies with community input and direction throughout the project. Six working groups were also assembled to complete a more in-depth analysis of topics raised by the community during the fall 2017 input sessions and create a series of principles that could be used to help guide design concept creation. At the same time, market and technical (e.g. traffic, parking, environmental) data were gathered to provide a baseline for concept development.

A Land Use and Height Survey was issued in spring 2018 to gather feedback from interested stakeholders and the general public on these important topics. The efforts of the working groups and initial survey results were discussed at a combined working group meeting on June 4. The concept principles were introduced at this time and ultimately refined by the Steering Committee and City Council before being approved on July 17. At that time, the City Council gave approval for Ryan Companies to move forward with concept creation.

Concept Creation

View Concept Creation Plan

Concept creation involves taking all the information and data gathered during the community engagement phase of the project and developing concepts for what development along 5th Avenue would look like. The concept principles developed by the working groups and Steering Committee will help guide those concept drawings. 

Concept creation will involve three phases over the coming months – creation, baseline concept creation, and finalization – with community input every step of the way. Read more about the concept creation process.

Throughout this process, the City is separately evaluating concepts and their impacts through the use of an independent, third-party consultant. This consultant was obtained through the City’s standard procurement process and will serve as an advocate throughout the concept evaluation stage and beyond. S.B. Friedman was selected as the City Advocate at the October 16, 2018, City Council meeting and presented an initial report at the December 4, 2018 City Council meeting. 

Assuming a concept is approved by the Council, development contracts and entitlements (zoning approvals) will be required prior to commencement of any construction activities.

Latest Update - December 7, 2018

At its December 4 meeting, the City Council took no formal action on the agenda item asking to consider whether to authorize Ryan Companies to move forward with Phase II (Baseline Concept Creation) of the 5th Avenue Project. City advocate S.B. Friedman provided the Council with an overview of policy items to consider, along with an overview of the development process and key site considerations for the 5th Avenue area.

City Advocate (S.B. Friedman) Presentation

December 4 Meeting Video

Council members are looking to receive further information on key topics, including the recommendation from the DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM) working group. At this time, the DCM working group anticipates bringing back a recommendation to Council in the New Year. A check-in on this topic originally slated for the December 18 City Council meeting will still take place.

Council also expressed the desire for a workshop on 5th Avenue; no formal date has been assigned, but the workshop could tentatively take place in late January 2019.

Land Use and Height Survey Results

Ryan partnered with aQity Research & Insights, with input from the 5th Avenue Steering Committee, to develop and administer the 5th Avenue Land Use and Height Survey. Over 1,300 responses were collected from March 13 through May 11, when the survey closed.

During the June 19 City Council meeting, aQity Research provided an in-depth analysis of the land use and height survey results. Below are links to the questions asked, the initial top line summary results, and the final full survey report.

Full Survey Report/Analysis

Top Line/Summary Results 

Survey Questions