East Ogden Avenue: On the Road to Potential

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Recently a public forum about the state of East Ogden Avenue was held at City Hall.

Councilman Kevin Coyne led the discussion and was joined by Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall and Mayor Steve Chirico.

The first topic discussed was the recent crimes that have occurred along the road including armed robberies, prostitution, and carjackings.

“80 percent of our auto burglaries are unlocked motor vehicles,” said Chief Marshall. “So again, make it tougher for these criminals that do come to Naperville, come to the Western suburbs. Naperville isn’t the only community that’s seen an uptick in crime with regard to open car doors as well as open residence.”

While these crimes may be on the rise, Chief Marshall believes residents are hearing about them more frequently because of Naper Notify.

“One of the reasons that you’re seeing more crime is that we’re doing a better job of getting the information to the residents when crimes occur,” said Chief Marshall.

After answering questions, the conversation transitioned to the businesses along East Ogden and their potential.

“We’re exploring what’s called an SSA, which would be a collection of property owners – the commercial property owners along Ogden contributing to a capital improvement project. That would benefit their properties and the city as a whole,” said Councilman Coyne.

If approved, the SSA would bring over $7 million towards beautifying Ogden Avenue from Naperville/Wheaton Road to Washington Street.

“To improve everything from lighting to landscaping to the intersections and the streetlights,” said Councilman Coyne. “I think you’re going to see some of those move forward. The residents, some of them brought up sidewalks, so we’re committed to making it more convenient, better looking, and just a higher quality of life for the residents and the businesses that are in there so it’s more attractive for them and their customers.”

Residents voiced concerns about vacant lots and outdated strip malls on the road and gave suggestions for their improvements.

“There was a huge turnout tonight,” said Councilman Coyne. “We want to learn what they would like to see come in on East Ogden and what in terms of businesses and communicate along the way so everybody is on the same page as to what’s going to happen with really a very important part of Naperville. It’s the gateway to our community; it’s kind of underperformed from an economic development standpoint. We need to make it better and I think working together we will make it better.”

Coyne hopes an official Ogden SSA hearing could happen by the end of the summer.

If you have suggestions for the East Ogden corridor then reach out to the Naperville City Council.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.