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 blog post last fall, 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, which disappointed some aldermen 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.