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posted: 8/24/2020 5:30 AM

Geneva hopes 60-apartment building will add energy to its downtown

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  • This is an artist's rendering of the apartments that will be built at 609 S. Third St. in Geneva.

    This is an artist's rendering of the apartments that will be built at 609 S. Third St. in Geneva.

  • A 60-unit apartment building is planned on the site of the Duke and Lee's auto-repair business at Third Street and Batavia Avenue (Route 31).

    A 60-unit apartment building is planned on the site of the Duke and Lee's auto-repair business at Third Street and Batavia Avenue (Route 31).
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

More people are going to be living in downtown Geneva soon, with the construction of a 60-unit apartment building at its southern gateway.

The 609 S. Third St. project meets several goals Geneva officials have for the downtown, Mayor Kevin Burns said.

The city wants housing that "encourages and inspires" people to live in the downtown district, where the city hopes they will spend their money at its restaurants, shops and service businesses, he said.

"We have always pursued more people living downtown," Burns said.

Having more people living in the district will bring energy and excitement to the district, he said.

The district, much of which is also within a historic district, is known for its restaurants and boutiques. The district also hosts city offices, a Kane County courthouse and the Geneva Public Library.

The four-story building will have 54 one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units, with space on the ground floor for two shops.

It is to be built on the site of the former Duke and Lee's automobile repair shop on the northeast corner of Third Street and Geneva Avenue (Route 31). It is just south of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, and across Third from the Metra station. To the south, across Batavia Avenue, is the Kane County Government Center.

Burns said the developer, SUMAC/Juniper LLC, plans to start site work this fall and construction early next year.

It's one of the larger housing proposals for downtown Geneva in recent years.

In 2016, there was a wildly unpopular proposal to build a five-story, 202-unit building on the former Cetron factory property at Seventh and State streets, which eventually was withdrawn.

In 2015, the city council approved a plan for 30 three-story townhouses to be built on North Batavia Avenue.

The city has also suggested, via its Downtown Station Area Master Plan, that the site of the former Mill Race Inn restaurant on the east bank of the Fox River could be a good spot for multifamily housing.