5th Avenue’s Baseline Concept

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With the DuPage Children’s Museum staying put on Washington Street, Ryan Companies combined its two designs from last year for the 5th Avenue Development Project into one baseline concept.

Adding Affordable Housing

And one major change is the addition of affordable housing.

“The new concept addresses affordable and workforce housing, so we’ve added that: 50-70 affordable housing units and 20-25 workforce that weren’t in the previous concept. And we have taken the density on the multi-family from about 400 down to 275-300 [units],” said Ryan Companies Senior Vice President Jim McDonald.

The addition was in response to Naperville City Council tasking Ryan Companies with creating 20% affordable housing in the development.

Concerns with Location

Rent would be between $800-$1,100 per month. But some residents were concerned with its location at the Parkview Lot.

“I’m all for affordable housing, but we can’t jam it right in the middle of town where we have historic small schools that are overfilled as it is,” said area resident Brian Kelly. “We have Washington Junior High contains the fifth grade class from Naper Elementary because its overfilled.”

Commuter Parking

Another ask from council – add more commuter parking. Ryan delivered with 253 more spaces.

Increases & Decreases

While making some additions, the baseline concept also made cutbacks.

The density of the 13-acre project decreased, but residents were still worried about the scale and traffic impact on the neighborhood.

Additional Amenities

Yet a few were optimistic for the baseline concept’s look, larger public plaza space for potential outdoor events, and the 32,000 square-foot increase in green space.

“Folks are wrapping their minds around this and getting excited,” said McDonald. “There are still a lot of concerns, we heard a lot of that tonight, but that’s okay. We may not get everybody to agree, we’re not going to get everybody to agree, but we think there is something in this plan for everybody.”


That something could be the sustainability factor.

His team hopes to make the project a WELL-certified community, which would be a first for the state and only second in the country, for supporting community health, wellness, and social engagement in sustainable ways.

“We believe that this development can be the example for a sustainable, wellness-focused, and a collaborative effort,” he added.

Estimated Cost

Ryan Companies estimates the baseline concept would cost about $287 million – that’s almost $66 million less than the previous concepts.

They’ll continue conducting traffic and market studies as they work with the steering committee on the baseline concept in the next week.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.