City Officials Seek Input on Charlestowne Mall, East Gateway

Public workshop set for Aug. 9.

St. Charles officials are seeking public input on the future of Charlestowne Mall and the surrounding business district.

On Aug. 9 residents and business leaders are asked to participate in a 7 p.m. workshop to craft a plan for the future of Charlestowne Mall and the east gateway business district. The workshop will include group sessions to review and discuss the community’s vision for the future of the mall and the surrounding commercial area. Input from this workshop will be used to draft a Key Focus Area Plan for the larger East Gateway area.

In a , City Administrator Brian Townsend said establishing a business district "is an opportunity to provide incentives for redevelopment and marketing activities." In a 2009 city survey, almost 70 percent of respondents rated the appearance of East Main Street as “average,” “poor,” or “very poor.” It was the lowest rated corridor in St. Charles, Townsend said.

The area under discussion includes commercial areas such as Charlestowne Mall, Tin Cup Pass, the former Baker’s Square and Main Street Commons.

Creating a business improvement district would allow the city to enact a special sales and hotel tax, which can be used for a variety of activities including land assembly, public infrastructure improvements, site preparation, and advertising.

Last month city aldermen accepted a report on Charlestowne Mall, after its presentation last week. Following that presentation several council members said they did not need to spend $24,750 to be told the mall needs new ownership and tenants.

Prior to the Aug. 9 workshop, residents are invited to review draft plans for downtown and the west gateway/ Randall Road area.

The comprehensive plan is the city’s guide for land use, physical improvement and development. Work on the plan began last summer and a final draft of the plan is anticipated by the end of 2012 for review by the Plan Commission and Planning and Development Committee.

City officials are encouraging residents to continue offering input online. To do so visit  www.stcharlesil.gov, and click on the comprehensive plan badge at the bottom right of the page. Residents may also contact Russell Colby, city planning division manager, at 630-377-4443.

Holy Moly!!! July 20, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Maybe the city should direct it's energies to previous issues before moving down the list. How about finishing First Street development and finding a use for the St. Charles Mall land?! Starting to seem a bit like a homeowner with ADD who starts several projects, and never completes one!
Lois Lane July 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I don't think the city has any more control over the St. Charles Mall property than it does the Charleston Mall. I believe it would have to be up to Shodeen to come up with a plan for the old mall property. Which they haven't been able to do after all these years.
Big Dave July 21, 2012 at 03:17 PM
First, we need to get both sides working together and stop acting like children. I am a big believer that you are only limited in your ability to achieve by your ability to dream. Second, change the name of the mall...eliminating the current one gets rid of a horrible image. Third, think quality! Getting high end stores into the new mall has to be a priority. Nieman Marcus, Nordstroms, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney's New York are some great department stores. Apple would be an excellent investment in the mall. We need a quality book store like a Barnes and Noble. Get an ABT electrical and appliance in the mall, they do things the right way. Why not actually attract fine dining? A fine steak house with a well-known name. Get a sporting goods store like Cabela's. Give them real incentives to come! Try to attract a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Those stores may be more expensive to purchase food, but they offer organic, safe product. Yes, we can have a kid's play area, but place it near the food court area. I fully understand it isn't an easy task to get all these stores under one roof or even the city and the mall owners. But, we have to at least try! We are only limited by our dreams.
Henry James July 22, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Lois to some degree the City does have some say in getting the old mall property developed. They could stop leading Shodeen on and tell him flat out no residential as the residents have requested and then maybe he would develop another plan. The Mayor was the one who continued to direct Shodeen that the residential proposal was appropriate.Even now with the Comprehensive Plan meetings the residents continue to stress no residential and yet the consultant continue to be directed to put in residential. If clear direction of no residential developement was given I bet shodeen would develop another plan more appropriate for that site.
Andrea Ahlsen July 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I have no issues against a better restaurant with spirits, e.g. Cheesecake Factory yet the mall has no theme to it. A few random stores and the pesky mall huts won't help. Bring in class and instill a higher value of what the mall should be. VonMaur is great yet they cannot do it alone. What about an Apple Store? I like Whole Foods too. Bring on a real theme and not just space to anyone who has junk to sell. Quality, quality, quality.


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