After submitting revised plans for the $200 million CityGate West campus in northwest Naperville, developer Aristotle Halikias believes he's a step closer to bringing his family's long-term vision to fruition.
The modifications aim to address several community and council concerns regarding the addition of a hotel and accompanying banquet facilities, the phasing of residential construction, improvements to the dormant Odyssey Fun World site, and other components of the 60-acre campus, said Halikias, president of Inter-Continental Real Estate and Development.
Updated preliminary development plans are set to be considered by the city council at its meeting Wednesday.
The concept of developing an art-inspired destination near the interchange of Route 59 and I-88 caught the attention of Naperville's elected leaders during a Feb. 2 council meeting. But they directed developers to go back to the drawing board, saying there was too great a divide on issues related to a construction timeline and a slew of requested zoning deviations.
After working closely to bridge the gap, project leaders and city staff members "have resolved important issues and reached an agreement that will allow CityGate West to proceed for a vote by the city council," Halikias said in a written statement. "As difficult as (the process) sometimes may have been, the outcome will produce an asset that will benefit Naperville and the region for generations to come."
Designed as an "economic gateway for Naperville," he said, the proposed campus includes seven restaurant sites, a multi-tenant retail and restaurant site, 19 acres of open space, two five-story mixed-use buildings with a total of 410 rental apartments, a medical office building and two hotels.
Staff members are now in support of the modified project, as long as developers adhere to a set of conditions listed in the proposed ordinance, according to a memo from Allison Laff, deputy director of transportation, engineering and development, and Senior Assistant City Attorney Pat Lord.
In initial development plans, the classification of one hotel and its proposed dependence on the existing Topgolf and WhirlyBall game centers was a sticking point for several city officials.
With the addition of its own 8,500-square-foot convention center, the hotel has been upgraded to a full-service facility in the revised proposal, though a size deviation still must be approved for being less than 150,000 square feet, according to the staff memo. The hotel, a Hampton Inn & Suites, "may or may not" have a restaurant on site, officials said, but developers agreed to have at least one restaurant operating within CityGate West before the hotel opens.
The second hotel satisfies the city's full-service requirement through a 7,200-square-foot banquet hall and the reuse of the shuttered Odyssey Fun World, which developers agreed to operate simultaneously as an event venue. Improvements are expected to be made to the Odyssey site within 18 months of the council's approval of preliminary project plans.
Additionally, Inter-Continental representatives agreed that permits would not be issued for the proposed apartment buildings -- which also contain office and retail space -- until the construction of another project phase has been completed.
"It is extremely satisfying to know our good-faith efforts have earned staff support for our plans," Halikias said. "We intend to fulfill each and every commitment to enable City Gate West to move forward."