5 Big Developments Coming to Aurora

Last year, Aurora was named the top city for living the American Dream. With strong economic mobility, low unemployment, and a high homeownership rate, it’s no surprise the suburb is attracting new development. Check out these five development plans that are on the docket.

Street view in Aurora photo courtesy of Paul Sableman

Aurora Arts Center

Aurora has an attractive downtown area with a location on the Fox River, its own Metra stop, parks, a live music venue, and no shortage of restaurants. The downtown area is set to get a new attraction: the Aurora Arts Center. The new project will be located in an 80,000-square-foot building on Stolp Avenue and Galena Boulevard, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The $35 million project is being funded by a combination of grants, private investment, tax credits, and loans, according to the report. Slated for completion in 2019, the Tribune reports Aurora Arts Center will feature a 25,000-square-foot performing arts school, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, an 8,000-square-foot rehearsal space for the Paramount Theater, and 38 apartments for working artists.

The building previously served as a campus for Waubonsee Community College.

Pacific Square Center

Developer Daniel Nee has proposed the Pacific Square Center for the 35-acre Yorkshire Plaza in Aurora. Once completed, the development is expected be the largest Asian shopping center in the country. The multi-million dollar project will include three phases.

Phase 1

The project would start by bringing new tenants and shops to the plaza.

Phase 2

During the second phase of the project, developers would raze a number of existing buildings, and construct a new, 30,000-square-foot office building.

Phase 3

The final phase of the project—expected to cost $63 million—would involve the development of new commercial space, a parking deck, and an apartment building.

The project broke ground this spring, according to Naperville Community Television.

Residential Development on the Former Fox Valley Golf Course

The 102-acre Fox Valley Golf Course has been closed for two years, but the site is expected to get new life as a 374-unit residential development, according to the Chicago Tribune. The new projected, named “Lincoln Valley on the Fox,” will feature 149 single-family homes, 63 duplexes, and 33 three-unit townhome buildings, according to the report. The North Aurora Village Board has already voted to approve the project. 

“I know a lot of people who are in these $400,000-and-up homes that are looking to move into the village and downsize,” Village President Dale Berman told the Chicago Tribune. “We’re happy for this enhancement and the addition to the tax base that will support the schools and the local retailers. We also think this adds to the great mix of homes we’ll have now in North Aurora.”

Developer DR Horton is taking a number of community concerns, including tree preservation and street lighting, into consideration, according to the report. 

Changes at the Fox Valley Mall

Sears has been closing a number of stores in the Chicagoland area, including its well-known Portage Park location in Chicago. Now, the Sears store at Aurora’s Fox Valley Mall is also closing its doors, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Fox Valley Mall purchased the store from Sears and plans to make it a part of its new vision for the shopping center, which will include retail, dining, and entertainment elements, according to the report.

“Sears is our front door right off of Route 59, and will become an amazing gateway to what the new Fox Valley Mall experience will be,” said Scott Samson, senior general manager of the mall. “As a company, we are forward thinking in our approach to deliver retail experience that puts our customers and the community first, and we view this is an opportunity to build on our development plans.”

The details of the plans are expected to be revealed in the coming months, the Tribune reports.

Townhomes on Route 59

Aurora is envisioning a number of changes for Route 59. As a part of that plan, the city has approved a new townhome development for the 25-acre Brach-Brody property. MI Homes is planning to build 171 two- and three-bedroom townhomes on the property, which are expected to cost upwards of $200,000. The new residential development will include a one-acre park. Additionally, developers are planning to complete Commons Drive, which will connect from 75th Street to Montgomery Road.

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