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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Mixed Use Development with Hotel, Residential, Retail, Office Coming to Downtown Naperville...Not Aurora

Proposed Hotel, Residential, Retail and Office Development
for Downtown Naperville...not Aurora

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, who killed a hotel project for Aurora on the Rt. 59 border with Naperville, claiming there was no "market" for hotels continues to blame the economy for his failure on economic development in downtown Aurora and elsewhere throughout the second largest city in Illinois.

A developer with a long-track record wanted to build a Hampton Inn and Suites near the Meijer Store on Rt. 59, using zero taxdollars, all of his own money, on land he already owned and was zoned for such a development.

Naperville City Councilman Dick Furstenau even came to the Aurora City Council meeting to suggest to Aurora it would be a "mistake" to pursue such economic development.  And, strangely, the mayor and most of the Aurora City Council agreed.  The developer has since sued the City of Aurora.

But now, the City of Naperville is considering a proposal for a massive downtown development that would include four buildings on a 2.4 acres between the DuPage River and Aurora Avenue, with Webster and Main Street as the east-west boundaries.

Proposal includes:
  • 130 room Holiday Inn Express
  • 550 space parking garage
  • 61 high-end luxury rental condos
  • 16,000 square feet of office / retail space

The main "objection" to the development thus far is the height of 90 feet, which exceeds the usual height requirements in downtown Naperville.

When asked about the hotel development in Naperville, Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said:

"F-Naperville!  It's not fair to compare Aurora and Naperville's downtown.  Our Aurora economy sucks and we don't have much going on in our downtown.  They have a bustling downtown and apparently a good economy.  It's like comparing apples to boulders."

Yes Mr. Weisner, we have to agree with you on that.  Naperville's downtown has an Apple Store and Aurora has eyesores you've created or ignored bigger than boulders.

And, what about killing the hotel development on Rt. 59 in Aurora?

"That was about protecting an existing hotel operator in Aurora from competition.  This new hotel would be in downtown Naperville and attract people from the region, not Aurora."

But, Weisner was not done.  His spokesgirl, Carie Anne Ergo, who makes over $160,000 per year in salary and benefits at taxpayer expense, says there's good news for Aurora, too.

"The women's halfway house in Aurora on Lake Street will remain open after Gov. Quinn had initially announced it would close.  That avoids $2.6 million spending cuts and 18 layoffs.  We can now say we created 18 jobs."

So, with all the economic development flops by the Weisner administration, from the Rt. 59 Hampton Inn Hotel to the failed Restaurant Row on New York Street to the Shodeen Fiasco on the east side of the Fox River to Bigelow's Hometown debacle to Cub Foods on the west side to forcing out the owner of the Roundhouse out, how do you explain why Aurora's economy seems to be going backwards while Naperville is moving forward?

Ergo, the mayor's spokesgirl, responded "as the mayor said, it's like comparing apples to boulders."

But, we did find one area where Aurora was exceeding Naperville.

Aurora's tax rate is about TWICE compared to Naperville.

Second to none.


Al Kohollick said...

Downtown Naperville is dangerous....people get stabbed to death in those seedy bars down there.

Al Kohollick said...

Hell, I remember getting hammered at Dut's Dugout and seeing the guy next to me take a beer bottle to the head because he hadn't paid back some dude.......but I never saw anyone get stabbed to death.

Anonymous said...

Why would we want to have an Apple Store, hotels or high-end stores in downtown Aurora? That would bring smart people who wouldn't be dumb enough to tolerate the idiots we have running Aurora.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right good ol Whitey tried the same thing when the Holiday Inn on Orchard was planned. To protect his buddy who owned the existing hotel..That's why it took so long to get the H I open....fighting with the city idiots. AURORA a lovely place to TRY to do business!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of a single developer telling me that Naperville solicited kickbacks, campaign contributions, jobs for family and friends, or donations to a friends campaign or a local charity (that miraculously kicks in for my pet project usually built by a contributor)in order to get an occupancy permit; in regard to Aurora I have heard it several times.

Kevin Mathews

Anonymous said...

Let's see. Aurora gives $2 million to one bar owner, another $5 million to other bar owners to setup shop.

And kills a hotel economic development project.

The three mistakes by the developer for the hotel project on Rt. 59 are obvious:

1. He didn't ask for any taxpayer funds.

2. He didn't deposit any funds into Tom Weisner's pocket.

3. He didn't promise to use Weisner's cronies and corrupt contractors to design or build it.

I'm fairly certain if he had done all of those three, Weisner would have made sure the deal went through.

Welcome to Aurora.

You can't get this type of corruption and incompetence in Naperville. We are second to none.

Anonymous said...

Hold it 1:47. Let's not be so fast to let Naperville off the hook. "Naperville City Councilman Dick Furstenau even came to the Aurora City Council meeting to suggest to Aurora it would be a "mistake" to pursue such economic development." Perhaps Furstenau had some advance knowledge of this project, and wanted to talk Aurora into eliminating possible competition on Rte. 59. That sounds rather corrupt to me.

And Openline, while I agree w/ your basic points in the your post, enough with the fake quotations. There's no way the people you're quoting said the things you claim they did. You had good points, adding the fake quotes just weakens your arguments and damages YOUR credibility.

RyanCoxxLuxx said...

Downtown Naperville is leading the way in taking a cold suburb and making it a place that even people from Chicago want to come out and Visit made easy by the Metra.