Improving East Ogden Avenue has been one of Naperville City Council’s goals for several years.
Councilman Kevin Coyne recently hosted an informal public discussion to gauge public opinion on what needs to be done to improve the corridor.
“The Gateway to Our Community”
“Ogden is the gateway to our community, the gateway to Naperville,” Coyne said. “And it’s always underperformed a little bit relative to other parts of the community. So I’ve taken it on as a challenge to work with our staff and our local business owners to see how we can beef it up and make it a more vibrant part of our community.”
Residents and business owners were able to voice concerns about the esthetic appeal of the street, as well as suggest other improvements that could be made.
Several residents mentioned the two motels on Ogden, saying they were unattractive buildings. Though Coyne didn’t have a solution concerning the Stardust Motel, the Regency Inn will appear before the Planning and Zoning Commission with hopes to turn the site into a 112-unit apartment complex.
Vacancies on East Ogden, however, are another issue.
“For whatever reason, other parts of the community, certainly in the south and Naperville’s north part in the downtown, have never had any problem attracting development. Ogden has been a little bit more of a challenge, although there’s still some great things happening. But we’d like to see it improve at a faster clip,” said Coyne.
The former K Mart location in the Ogden Mall has sat vacant since the store left in 2013. The city is still trying to fill that, and other vacancies along Ogden.
Other Improvements Moving Along
One plan that is starting to move forward is the pole sign removal incentive – Midas will be the first company to take advantage of the program to convert its pole sign into more attractive signage.
Residents also suggested other improvements like a community gathering space to make the area more amenable to shoppers.
Retail trends along East Ogden Avenue will be addressed in the city’s comprehensive master plan, which is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.