Tag Archives: LLC

New retail center contingent on water main project

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—The Maples commercial development at Route 38 and County Line Road cannot move forward until the village improves an aging water main, possibly with a county grant.

Bob Browning, of The Maples developer, Integritas Systems, LLC of Yorkville, submitted a proposed development agreement to the village Feb. 8.

“The Maples will have to wait for our answer until the village knows if it will get the grant,” Village President Kathy Curtis said during the Maple Park Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

In its proposed agreement, Integritas Systems stated it will be responsible for another needed public works improvement project, as village officials previously requested. That project is a sanitary sewer connection, which the company will pay for and install.

The village water main project, on the northeast corridor of the village, is needed to provide the appropriate fire flow requirements from the water tower to The Maples, Curtis said. The improvement is not exclusively for The Maples, however.

“This project needs to be done regardless,” Curtis said. “The infrastructure is old and does not meet today’s size requirements.”

The village is seeking a $300,000 Kane County Community Development Block Grant to help pay for the $400,000 project. The village will likely know by early March whether it will receive the grant, she said.

Integritas Systems first proposed The Maples in November 2009. Plans for the development include small retail businesses, a restaurant and office rental space.

Making ‘A to B’ easier

by Susan O’Neill
Next to a land-use plan, a transportation plan for a community or a region may be the most important to establish for a growing area. By developing a transportation plan in conjunction with one for future residential and commercial development, government officials can ensure there are adequate roads to accommodate the increased traffic.

By working with other entities such as developers, the state, county or federal government, and having a plan in place when the money becomes available, a municipality can exercise some control over the necessary road improvements.

Planning ahead for road maintenance precludes the need for more expensive repair down the road. Funding plays a major role in the ability of a village, township or county to accomplish this, as well.

Elburn
The most significant recent transportation development in the Elburn area has been the extension of the Metra train line west to the village. With an average of 250 to 300 cars per day in the parking lot, the station has exceeded everyone’s expectations, Elburn Village President Jim Willey said.

Elburn Village Administrator Dave Morrison said Metra has requested federal funds to assist with an expansion of the parking lot to accommodate at least another 300 cars. This project should take place in 2009 or 2010.

Willey said the village is actively working with Sho-Deen developers on plans to build around the train station. The biggest hurdle is funding for the expansion of Elburn’s wastewater treatment plant to accommodate the growth.

Willey said it was good to have commercial projects in place at the intersection of Routes 47 and 38 when the recession hit. With Walgreens going up on the northeast corner, there is additional significant business rental opportunity within the Prairie Valley North commercial development where Walgreens is located.

He said the state has plans for a pedestrian signal at the intersection to allow for safe crossing across Route 38 from McDonald’s to the new development. Development of the northwest corner will happen more slowly.

According to Willey, Kane County reports that the exponential increase in traffic counts on Route 47 has begun to level out with the slow-down of the economy. Construction of the Anderson Street overpass, still a county priority, should serve as a functional bypass for local and regional traffic, mitigating some of the excess on Route 47.

Grobmar Investments, LLC, has plans for a multi-tenant retail development at the northwest corner of Keslinger and Route 47, Morrison said. According to Willey, Elburn is working with the Kane County Department of Transportation (KDOT) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for future road improvements in that area.

“However, the cemetery will always be an issue for that corner,” Willey said. “It’s not going anywhere.”

He said there are no solid proposals for the southwest and southeast corners of the intersection.

“A full interchange at I-88 and Route 47 would really benefit Elburn,” Willey said. “Residents have to take a circuitous route to go east on 88.”

Sugar Grove
Sugar Grove is currently extending Municipal Drive north of Route 30 and extending Galena Boulevard west to meet it. Village President Sean Michels said he feels these extensions are important for future commercial and business park development in Sugar Grove. The Municipal Drive extension has proved useful in enticing HondaJet to locate its Midwest operations at the Aurora Municipal Airport.

The village added its own financing to $4 million in funding obtained from the federal government to accomplish these projects.

The roads will provide access for 150 acres of retail development on the southwest side of Route 47 and Galena Boulevard. Plans for extending Municipal Drive farther north to Wheeler Road will facilitate commercial development at the as-yet-undeveloped 180-acre business park, High Pointe Center.

A feasibility study for a full intersection at Interstate 88 and Route 47 is currently under way with funding from the Crown Community Development, the village of Sugar Grove and other property owners in the area. Several years ago, Crown Development proposed a 790-acre mixed-use development around the intersection of Route 47 and Interstate 88 that would benefit from a full interchange there.

Michels said identifying future funding sources such as the Illinois Tollway Highway Authority, developers and IDOT, will be necessary to move the project forward.

Road improvements are scheduled for this spring at Bliss and Merrill roads to make the intersection safer. Blind spots on the road have become more hazardous, as development in the area has led to an increase in traffic. The funding will come from fees collected through Kane County’s recently implemented transportation impact fees.

Michels said the construction of bridges over the Burlington Railroad tracks at Gordon Road and Municipal Drive south of Route 30 would provide alternate routes to Route 47, relieving some of the traffic along the road in that area. The village currently does not have a funding source to accomplish these projects.

Sugar Grove will use more than $1 million of Local Agency Pavement Preservation (LAPP) money for two major overlays at Wheeler and Norris roads. The village will pay $300,000 toward the project, using road impact fees collected from developers. Michels said the village has been able to regularly provide maintenance on village roads and reviews its maintenance plans on a continual basis.

Michels said he thinks the Prairie Parkway will provide an economic benefit to the village, with the Route 30 interchange allowing for easy access.

“Transportation is key to our economic future and our quality of life,” Michels said.

Maple Park
Maple Park recently conducted a transportation study to determine what roads and road improvements were needed to handle increased traffic associated with new residential development. Although development of the John Claire Homes and Grand Pointe Homes projects are both currently on hold, trustee Terry Borg said that once the economy bounces back, progress on these projects and the road improvements will resume.

Two years ago, the village resurfaced selected roads in the old part of the town. With emergency funding, the village built up Main, Elm and Willow streets using crushed rock. With the help of a Kane County Community Development Block Grant, the village rebuilt several sidewalks on the south side of town.

Kaneville
Village President Bob Rodney said Kaneville does not have any road projects planned within the village in the near future. Kaneville Township Road Commissioner Denny Long said the township and village blacktopped most of the roads in the area a few years ago, so they are in fairly good shape.

“We haven’t got the money to consider any improvements for now,” Rodney said.

Regional
IDOT engineer Rick Powell said he is hopeful that the study to widen Route 47 between Yorkville and Sugar Grove will take place this year. This is in addition to the stretch of Route 47 from Interstate 80 to Caton Farm Road that will be widened to four lanes as a part of the Prairie Parkway project.

The Prairie Parkway project, a 35-mile north-south highway to connect Interstate 80 to Interstate 88, received federal approval in September 2008 after a process that lasted seven years.

IDOT is currently purchasing land in the corridor where the road will be built. Powell said 2,600 acres will be needed for the highway, as well as to widen the 12 miles of Route 47 from Caton Farm Road to I-80. As of January 2009, IDOT acquired approximately 250 acres of the land needed.

Construction could begin on the road as early as 2010. The first stretch of road that will be built is the 11 miles between routes 71 and 34, with the next priority between routes 34 and 30.

IDOT has $16 million for the Prairie Parkway project in the highway program budget for 2009, with $72 million set aside for 2010-14.

“We keep receiving money to keep moving forward,” Powell said.

Photo: With a parking lot full of cars, the Elburn Metra station is one of the most significant additions to area transportation in recent years. File Photo

Growth shifts from homes to stores

by Susan O’Neill

            With a struggling economy in the background, the village of Sugar Grove saw a shift of focus in 2008. In previous years much effort was spent planning for residential growth, but this year it was spent on bringing commercial projects into the village.
 
Sugar Grove is recognized
            Sugar Grove began the new year by celebrating BusinessWeek.com‘s choice of the village as the best affordable suburb in Illinois. Sugar Grove was picked as a relatively affordable community that offers the lowest crime rate, finest schools and the best quality of life for the money in the state.

            Sugar Grove learned in June that Standard & Poors upgraded the village’s bond rating from an A to an A+.

            Settler’s Ridge, Sugar Grove’s conservation development, earned a Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the Chicago Wilderness Corporation Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its landscaping and innovative water works systems. The water works system also received the Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association Chicago Metro Chapter.
 
The economy and growth
            The Settler’s Ridge Subdivision was dealt a blow in April when developer Kimball Hill Homes requested bankruptcy protection. The development, which was to include 2,678 homes, was put up for sale after only 100 residences were built. Kimball Hill announced it would go out of business at year’s end.

            New home starts dropped significantly, leading the village to renegotiate annexation agreements with developers of projects in progress.

            Although residential development lagged in Sugar Grove in 2008, commercial development continued to move forward.

            “It’s been a busy year,” Village President Sean Michels said. “There has been $65 million in investment in the village.”

            Multiple commercial/office developments either opened or expanded, and many new businesses opened, ranging from two new preschools to a family practice physician and other retail outlets, locations like The Landings, Sugar Grove Center and the Capital Professional Center saw growth throughout the year.
 
Municipal development
            Groundbreaking for the new Sugar Grove Public Library building took place on May 3, although voters rejected a measure to increase the tax rate to increase the library’s operating expenses.

            The Sugar Grove Fire District moved nine firefighters to the Oswego Fire District station on Galena Road in July to meet response time standards in the area from the station on Route 30 and Municipal Drive.
 
Airport growth
            Growth is taking place at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove as well, with two companies opening new locations: one in December and another slated for 2009.
 
New church in village

            The Rockford Diocese created the first new Roman Catholic parish in almost 20 years in Sugar Grove this year. The St. Katharine Drexel parish holds weekend masses at the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School until a church can be built on land donated by the Jerry Rich family. The parish priest, Fr. Robert Jones, began in time to conduct Advent services on Nov. 29.

            What began several years ago as a plan to build a new separate village hall and police facility based on population projections of 60,000 plus was ultimately reduced at year’s end to the reconfiguration of the Police Department reception area for increased protection and safety of police personnel.
 
Infrastructure
            Construction also began this year on the Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extension, and plans moved forward for the extension of the village’s water main out to the Kaneland Harter Road Middle School.
 
SG joins county program
            The Sugar Grove Village Board approved a measure to join Ride in Kane, a county-wide program to provide transportation to eligible residents in need. With participation by the Sugar Grove Township, Park District and Public Library, the village will receive $4,000 from the Regional Transportation Authority. Services will begin July 1, 2009.
 
Future growth
            Robert Arthur Land Company in October brought plans for an active adult community to the Village Board for its feedback. The 190-acre development would include a mix of single-family homes for active adults and rental apartments and condominiums targeting adults over 55 on land originally set aside for the Settler’s Ridge development.

            Village officials reviewed plans in November for a Walgreens store scheduled to open in 2009 at the northwest corner of Route 47 and the Galena Boulevard extension. Attorney James White said the developer, the Daly Group, LLC, hopes to attract some big-box stores to the development.

            Michels said there are a couple of other smaller retailers, including an auto service center and a small hardware store that the village is talking to for possible location in the Prairie Grove Commons, south of Galena Boulevard and west of Route 47.

            The village hopes to take advantage of potential infrastructure funding that may be available in 2009 through the new federal administration’s stimulus package. Village staff submitted two infrastructure projects to the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus for the Harter Road water main extension and the Municipal Drive extension from Galena Boulevard to Wheeler Road.

            Michels said the village is still working on a full interchange at I-88 and Route 47. There is currently a feasibility study underway for the interchange and that is going well, he said.

            According to Michels, when the construction market begins to pick up again, Sugar Grove should be in a good position to take advantage of it with the essential infrastructure in place.