Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 18-882    Version: 1
Type: Report Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 10/9/2018 In control: City Council
On agenda: 10/16/2018 Final action:
Title: OPTION A: Approve Ryan Companies request to initiate Phase II (Concept Refinement) of the Concept Creation process for the 5th Avenue area. OPTION B: Continue the request to initiate Phase II (Concept Refinement) until December 4, 2018.
Attachments: 1. Recommendations for Phase II Concept Revisions & Council Direction Needed, 2. Metra Ridership Data
Related files: 18-867




OPTION A: Approve Ryan Companies request to initiate Phase II (Concept Refinement) of the Concept Creation process for the 5th Avenue area. 


OPTION B:  Continue the request to initiate Phase II (Concept Refinement) until December 4, 2018. 



DEPARTMENT:                     Transportation, Engineering and Development


SUBMITTED BY:                     Amy Emery, AICP, TED Operations Manager


The 5th Avenue Steering Committee reviewed initial concepts prepared by Ryan Companies on August 28, 2018.  The committee has prepared recommendations for refinement of the initial concepts for City Council consideration (Attachment 1).  




On September 18, 2018, City Council considered the request from Ryan Companies to initiate Phase II (Concept Refinement) of the Concept Creation process for the 5th Avenue area.  After hearing testimony and discussion, City Council directed the agenda item be continued until October 16, 2018 with the following requests:

                     Clarification surrounding the idea of a “baseline concept” to be developed as part of the Phase II effort


                     More information about the recommended number of parking spaces needed to be added to make a “measurable impact” on the commuter parking wait lists

                     An update on the efforts of the DuPage Children’s Museum Working Group.  This group was created by the City Council on September 18, 2018 with the direction to meet and provide recommendations to City Council in 60 days.


                     Information, as available, related to commuter train capacity.





Baseline Concept

If authorized, during Phase II (Concept Refinement), Ryan Companies will be working to create a single concept image using feedback received from the public, staff, City Council and Steering Committee on Phase I concepts.  Ryan Companies has expressed the importance of working from a single baseline drawing with the understanding that elements of it can (and will likely) change through discussion, more detailed site work, etc. as the process progresses.  This approach provides a basis for comparison between plan features over time.


Perhaps a helpful analogy may be to think of the baseline concept like a base model of a new vehicle.  The City may decide to add, remove or modify features from the base model.  Perhaps, the City may even opt for a different vehicle entirely.  However, the process starts with one desired model which is compared to others relative to design, cost, features, etc.


Ryan Companies has been very careful to point out that the idea of creating a single baseline concept does not mean things cannot change significantly as the process moves forward.  The drawing will remain at a conceptual level of detail.  Final engineering and architectural drawings will not be prepared until such time as a concept has been authorized by City Council to move into an entitlement (e.g., zoning authorization) public process.


Attachment 1 summarizes community (August 22, 2018) and 5th Avenue Steering Committee (August 28, 2018) feedback to be used by Ryan Companies to inform concept refinement in Phase II.


Measurable Impact of Parking

At the October 16, 2018 City Council meeting, City Staff will provide an overview of the current commuter parking system, existing conditions, and baseline data pertaining to the wait lists.  Based on this information, staff will present the methodology being used to determine how many spaces can be added to have a measurable impact on commuter parking.  A specific number of spaces will not be recommended at this time as additional data is being gathered and further analysis is needed relative to the impact of additional parking on the roadway network and rest of the project.


DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM)

On September 18, 2018, City Council directed an additional working group be established focused on the future of the DCM.  Specifically, the City Council asked for a recommendation in 60 days from this new working group as to whether the DCM should remain at its current location or consider relocating to an alternative site in Naperville. 


To initiate this effort, Mayor Chirico, Councilwoman Gustin, and City Manager Krieger participated in a DCM Board Meeting on Saturday, September 29, 2018.  The DCM Board is looking at opportunities to address existing and future needs from its current location and also evaluating possibly moving elsewhere in Naperville.  On November 20, 2018, an update will be provided from the DCM Working Group.


Information from Metra/Pace/BNSF

During the September 18, 2018 meeting, City Council requested additional information about existing train capacities and its impact on project planning efforts.


Metra, Pace and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) have been key stakeholders throughout this process.  As property owners and service providers to the thousands of commuters accessing the station daily, their input and expertise is undeniable.  Involvement of Metra, Pace and BNSF precedes the release of the RFQ document in February of 2017.  Each agency has received regular updates as the project has proceeded.  Copies of the community engagement report, working group report and survey results have been provided to each agency.  City Staff and Ryan Companies staff have met multiple times face-to-face with representatives from each agency and are committed to continued communication and dialog to appreciate their needs, desires, and process requirements.


Metra boarding (e.g., ridership) data reveals general consistency in peak train boarding over time.  With recent changes to the schedule, additional data is being gathered by Metra.  Through this planning process the question has been raised as to how many additional riders new development will generate, particularly on AM/PM peak trains.  There is no model to predict that information.  Transportation professionals from City Staff, Metra and Pace believe mode shift is likely (e.g. people living near train will include existing commuters seeking to reduce their existing commute time).   As such, the development will make it more convenient for existing commuters to access the train.  However, just as it is not possible to accurately predict new riders on particular trains, the extent of the mode shift cannot be precisely quantified.  Metra and Pace continue to monitor ridership volumes and will consider changes independent of the 5th Avenue Planning process for the benefit of the entire system.


City Advocate

The October 16, 2018 agenda includes a request to approve a contract to hire a professional advocate based on completion of standard City of Naperville RFP procurement process.  If approved, the advocate will work on behalf of the City as the 5th Avenue project continues through concept refinement and beyond.  The advocate will provide analytical, strategic and financial consulting services. The advocate will bring vast experience in structuring and negotiating public-private partnerships that are essential to successfully implementing projects that serve a full range of clients in the public, private and nonprofit/institutional sectors.




Council Direction Needed

Over the last year, the community has been very engaged in the 5th Avenue Project.  The process has reached a point where City Council direction is needed to inform concept development should the project proceed.  Specifically, City Council is being asked to weigh in on the following topics (more detail is provided in Attachment 1):

                     Inclusion of Affordable Housing

                     Specific land uses to be included or excluded

                     Changes to Kendall and Burlington Square Parks

                     Changes in the overall number and/or location of commuter parking spaces from the status quo

                     Overall height restrictions

                     Provisions for Pace and kiss and ride operations


Council consensus on these key questions is critical for the process to move forward.  Without this direction, additional community time and resources will be spent creating and discussing designs that may not reflect the desired direction of City Council, are not financially viable, or successful in achieving a consensus of desired community goals. 


Options to Move Forward

Ryan Companies has asked the City Council to move forward with Phase II (Concept Refinement) (Option A).  Staff has some concern with moving to Phase II at this point given the many questions that have been raised by the public and 5th Avenue Steering Committee, as well as additional direction that is needed from City Council in reference to specific project components (see above).  Staff believes that the City Advocate can help to test assumptions, appreciate issues, and define opportunities specifically related to typical costs and City participation.  The City Advocate will provide expertise that will result in more informed decision making on the physical components of the development.  In addition, time is needed for the City Council to evaluate and consider the DCM Working Group report to be provided on November 20, 2018. For these reasons, staff has recommended that the request to initiate Phase II (Concept Refinement) be continued until December 4, 2018 (Option B).  If City Council agrees, the schedule for City Council action is anticipated as follows:


October 16, 2018 City Council Meeting

Receive information about commuter parking system and methodology for determining how many spaces can be added to have a measurable impact Receive list of key questions for City Council direction on December 4, 2018 Continue Phase II (Concept Refinement) approval request until December 4, 2018 Approve contract for City Advocate

November 20, 2018 City Council Meeting

Receive report from DCM Working Group Establish consensus direction for inclusion of DCM in future concept planning efforts 

December 4, 2018 City Council Meeting

Receive initial report from City Advocate Provide direction to Ryan Companies on key questions Authorize Ryan Companies to move forward with Phase II (Concept Refinement)



Continuation of this process with a professional advocate will require the City to expend up to $100,000 in accordance with the procurement contract between the City of Naperville and SB Friedman.  Approval of this contract is a part of this October 16, 2018 City Council Agenda for consideration.


The final scope of any redevelopment and associated financial impacts are not yet known.  Any City costs associated with redevelopment will be subject to the review and approval of the City Council.