One Washington Place

One Washington Place Rendering at River Street and State Street

Current Status Update (July 10, 2020)

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) conducted their meeting to review the amendments to the building façade on June 22, 2020. This was a virtual meeting via GoToWebinar. No members of the public spoke at this meeting. The original Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) actually expired on February 12, 2019 since these are only valid for one year and the original COA was approved on February 18, 2018. The HPC reviewed the building changes and the statement from the developer that the materials to be used were not changing from the original COA. The HOC voted unanimously to approve the COA on June 22, therefore this COA will remain in effect until June 22, 2021 if a building permit is not issued. Action on the COA is final with the HOC vote.

The Plan Commission met on July 1, 2020 to review the proposed amendments to the Planned Development and a revised Design Review for the OWP project. Due to the amendments to the Planned Development, a public hearing was published and noticed and the hearing was conducted at this meeting. This meeting was held via GoToWebinar. Six of the seven members were present at this meeting. The Commission heard from the developer who presented their project changes which included façade changes, a reduction in the amount of apartment units from 190 to 186 units, a decrease in the amount of parking from 382 spaces to 350 spaces, a restoration of the commercial space along Wilson Street raising the amount of commercial space from 5,725 square feet to 14,180 square feet, and addition of a new second floor office area of 2,370 square feet. The Commission during the public hearing heard from 4 people, with a written statement from a 5th person read into the record. Members of the public raised concerns about traffic, the bulk of the building in relation to downtown, the loss of additional parking spaces, too much additional commercial space being added to downtown, whether this development should be located further north of River Street, that the architecture proposed is not historic or unique as it is the same as an Oswego project, and issues with using TIF funds to pay for the project.

After closing the public hearing, the Commission reviewed and discussed the proposed amendments to both the Planned Development and the Design Review. The Commission voted 5-1 to recommend approval of the Planned Development amendments with conditions. They then reviewed the Design Review findings, and voted on each of the 5 findings. They recommended approval of 4 of the findings, 3 unanimously. One of the findings had a 3-3 vote so they did not approve or deny of that finding. They then voted 6-0 to approve of the Design Review as presented with conditions. Action is final with the Plan Commission on the Design Review vote, but the Planned Development Amendment will move forward to the Committee of the Whole for further consideration, preferably in conjunction with the revised Redevelopment Agreement (status below).

Special Service Area: This was already created with the prior proposal and does not need to be amended. The SSA is perpetual until formally dissolved by the City Council.

Redevelopment Agreement: This amended agreement is under staff and legal review in conjunction with the developer. We anticipate that this will be completed shortly and taken to the COW for consideration. This would likely be done at the same time as the Planned Development consideration.

TIF 6: The eligibility study has been completed and was recommended by the City Council to proceed to the full Redevelopment Plan and Program on March 16, 2020 by a vote of 9-5. That study is underway and planned for completion in late July with formal consideration by the Committee of the Whole in early August. If the Council proceeds with this, the new TIF could be adopted and in place by mid-November.

Status Update (April 30, 2020)

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 28, 2020, City Council indicated that city staff should move forward with a study that would support creating a new TIF area that would include the redevelopment area for the planned One Washington Place mixed-use development. The developer presented the attached new plan for the development which includes an additional 8,455 square feet of retail space to be located on E. Wilson St. and 2,730 square feet of new office space that would be on the second floor of the development, between the existing retail space and the swimming pool and deck area at the corner of State St. and N. River St.. The process to establish the new TIF is expected to take 6-10 months. Therefore, construction is not likely to begin until 2021.

Committee of the Whole Review

Status Update (March 4, 2020)

At last evening’s Committee of the Whole meeting, City Council voted 9-4 in favor of recommending approval of a resolution to extend the term of the TIF redevelopment area that includes the One Washington Place project for the lesser of twelve years or the number of years necessary to pay off the bonds for the project and the City’s costs associated with land acquisition, utility improvements and environmental remediation. The resolution will next be considered by City Council at their next scheduled meeting on March 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm at City Hall. In order for the extension to be granted, all other taxing bodies in the TIF must pass similar supporting resolutions and a bill must be passed by the state legislature approving the extension. Both Council members and the developer expressed an openness to consider and discuss future alterations to the project.


Status Update (February 2020)

Due to the multiple delays incurred for the One Washington Project, the timeline for repayment of the bonds is now too short to proceed with the original proposal under the public-private partnership with Shodeen Group. Both the City and Developer are working through various alternatives that will allow for the project to begin in late fall but more likely in spring of 2021. Discussions on alternatives will occur at a future public meeting when details have been vetted.

One Washington Place (OWP) was originally proposed as a $40 million mixed-use development project consisting of 194 luxury apartments, a 335-space public parking garage and 5,664 square feet of new commercial space in the heart of downtown Batavia.

In 2004, the City acquired the First Baptist Church property in anticipation of working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to fix the jog that IL Rte. 25 takes at Wilson St. from S. River to Washington St. Unfortunately, fixing the jog proved to be unfeasible and the City was left with a building that needed millions in repairs in order to bring it up to code for any reuse.

In 2016, Shodeen approached the City with a proposal to build One Washington Place on the site of the First Baptist Church and other adjacent run-down properties. Warranted to provide a huge increase in property value, the creation of a new public parking garage and economic stimulus provided by hundreds of new downtown residents, the project was very attractive to the City. However, the expected rate of return for the developer was substantially less than the average market return. In order to make up the difference, the City agreed to provide tax increment financing (TIF) for the project. TIF uses the additional tax increment created by the development to fund redevelopment of blighted areas.

The project was projected to generate about $1 million in additional increment per year. The TIF was established in 2017 and lasts 23 years. The City planned to issue $16 million in bonds to finance the project, approximately $9 of which represented the construction costs of the public parking garage. The remaining $7 million would reimburse the developer for certain costs associated with the private development aspects of the project (the apartments and commercial space).

Initially, the project was expected to break ground in late 2017, but higher than expected project cost estimates came in mid-2017, resulting in a renegotiation of the City’s agreement with the developer and a reconfiguration of the project that increased the number of apartments, and reduced the number of parking spaces and commercial space.

In 2018, environmental testing that was done after several buildings were removed revealing the existence of lead contaminated soils. A remediation plan for the lead soils as well as a groundwater remediation plan were negotiated with the developer, resulting in another amendment to the redevelopment agreement. The remediation plans were submitted to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for their approval. On December 3, 2019, the City received notice from the IEPA that the remediation plans were approved.

As of December 16, 2019, the City has been waiting for the developer to submit its plans and application for a building permit. Based on the current timeline, it is expected that the project will break ground in Autumn 2020 or Spring 2021. Construction is estimated to take 3 years to complete. The City built the parking lot on N. River St. just north of the footbridge in 2018 in anticipation of this project to provide replacement for the parking spaces and garage that will be eliminated when construction begins. The City plans to keep this parking lot on a temporary basis after OWP is built to determine whether parking needs in the downtown business district are met.

Status Update (April 2019)

The City Council approved a revised Development Agreement for the One Washington Place Project on January 2, 2018 (PDF) after the applicant sought to make modifications to the proposed plan. The revised RDA was approved with Ordinance 18-09 (PDF).

The revisions require amendment to the Planned Development and Design Review. The Planned Development Amendment requires both Plan Commission and City Council approval. The Design Review is conducted by the Plan Commission A Public Hearing is scheduled for April 18th for a Planned Development Amendment and Design Review.

The City Council previously approved Ordinances 17-14 and 17-15 for the One Washington Place project on February 20, 2017. The Plan Commission approved Design Review on May 3, 2017.

City Administrator Interviewed by WDCB 90.9

Development

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

TIF - What it is and How it Works (PDF)

Notice Letter -Invitation for TIF5 Hearing (PDF)

TIF Redevelopment Plan and Program (PDF)

Proposed TIF 5 - Washington Wilson Tax Increment Financing District Redevelopment Plan and Project Area Public Hearing Notice

Alternative Redevelopment Proposal Notice

Interested Parties Registration Notice

What is Tax Increment Financing?

Frequently Asked Questions about TIF

TIF Timeline (PDF)

Redevelopment Agreement (9-5-16)

Other Materials

CMAP Homes for a Changing Region Plan (PDF) - Batavia, Geneva, North Aurora and St. Charles