- The Music Garden is in the final phase of construction. Crews are working on the interior of the buildings, landscaping and other punch list items.
- More than 350 people we able to tour the facility during our fall preview. If you missed out, we will be offering additional tours in the spring, keep checking the website for further details.
- The pedestrian and bicycle ways have been installed and will open in the spring.
- The plaza sidewalk has been opened up along Broadway, and you should start to see the LED lights along the sound wall.
- Cedar planking installation is complete along the John C. Dunham Pavilion, sound wall and guest services building.
- All site electrical work has been finished, including the installation of all light poles throughout the site.
- The building electrical is nearing completion. Interior finishes are beginning to be installed and all interior painting has been completed.
- Construction crews have installed 75 percent of the permeable pavers that wrap the eastern portion of the viewing area.
- The fall landscaping installation has begun and all shoreline plantings have been installed.
- The Aurora City Council approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Aurora Civic Center Authority, which runs the Paramount Theatre, to manage the programming and operations at RiverEdge Park for 18 months starting in 2013.
- Commonwealth Edison has completed the remediation of the portion of the manufactured gas plant (“MGP”) which was formerly located within the park boundary.
- Construction crews will be installing 37,000 square feet of pavers at the end of the month.
- Cedar planking installation is almost complete along on the John C. Dunham Pavilion, sound wall and guest services building.
- The first phase of the Wilder Promenade is complete and a dedication ceremony took place on July 18th.
- The signature RiverEdge Park lighting continues to be installed with dramatic low energy LED lights on the sound wall and pavilion wings, along with decorative poles throughout the music garden.
- Cedar planking installation is ongoing on the John C. Dunham Pavilion, sound wall and guest services building.
- Architectural precast panels are being installed on the John C. Dunham Pavilion.
- Spring and Summer landscaping is complete.
- The concrete plaza sidewalk continues to be poured and light poles are being installed.
- The pavilion roof is complete including the steel and wood underdecking.
- The sound wall structure has been erected.
- Look for the dark cedar wood slating to be installed over the next month along Broadway.
- Substantial completion of the Dunham Pavilion and the Guest Services Building will take place during the next month. A roof top deck is being built on top of the Guest Services Building.
- Stairs leading down to the Fox River have been poured, and the park’s north entrance is beginning to take shape.
- Grading work in between the Dunham Pavilion and the lawn area is ongoing.
- Trees and spring planting will occur in the coming weeks.
- RiverEdge Park is about five months from substantial completion (the park is expected to open in 2013). A majority of the steel and masonry work on park facilities is nearing completion.
- Wilder Promenade, the former site of the old Aurora Police Department building at 350 N. River St., will be home to the City’s Farmers Market starting in June.
- Work is ongoing on the park’s planned bicycle path bordering the Fox River.
- The welding work on the steel structure and the internal build out of the Dunham Pavilion has begun.
- The grading and sub-base for the bike trail has been completed.
- Masonry work on the first floor of the guest services building has been completed and the floor of the rooftop deck installed.
- The majority of the plumbing work for the guest services building has been completed.
- The underground electrical work in front of the pavilion and at the mix tower has been completed.
- Motorists driving down Broadway Avenue may notice the steel structure of the Dunham Pavilion is beginning to take shape.
- Masonry work on the guest services building started near the end of the month.
- The old Aurora Police Department building at 350 N. River St. has been demolished.
- The mild winter weather has allowed crews to continue working on the park without impacting the construction schedule.
- Utility work at RiverEdge Park is about 90 percent complete.
- Concrete foundations are finished for the Dunham Pavilion stage and the Guest Services Building. The walls for these buildings are going up.
- You can see the sound wall taking shape along Broadway Avenue.
- In the coming weeks, you will start to see the steel structure of the Dunham Pavilion being constructed.
- Seeding and blanketing of the south end of RiverEdge Park and the lawn seating area for the Dunham Pavilion has been completed.
- Concrete foundation pouring for the Dunham Pavilion stage and sound wall began this month.
- Utility work at RiverEdge Park is about 80 percent complete.
- The Aurora City Council approved a contract to hire Open Road Events to provide professional consulting services to plan for the opening of RiverEdge Park in 2013. The firm will help develop an operating budget, events calendar, event staffing plan for the park along with securing food and beverage vendors and corporate sponsors.
- Progress on the RiverEdge Park Music Garden stage project has moved forward with foundation and other underground work, which will be substantially completed before the ground freezes this winter.
- A portion of Broadway Avenue was reduced to two lanes temporarily so crews could tap into an existing water line and other utilities to be brought into the park.
- Foundation work for a sound wall and the future guest services building started this month. Work has also started on the seeding and a portion of the sidewalk on the south end of the park.
- Demolition continues on the old Aurora Police Department building at 350 N. River St. and is scheduled to be completed this year.
- Demolition of the old Aurora Police Department, 350 N. River St., started Oct. 26, and the project will take several weeks to a month to complete. The area will be seeded next year and remain open space on the park’s western side.
- A web camera was installed this month on the radio tower near the old APD building that will shoot time lapse documentation of the project’s progress.
- On the east side of the Fox River, underground electrical and utility work has begun, and construction crews are prepping to do concrete work for the Music Garden. Grass seeding is scheduled to begin in late November.
- A majority of work on Blues Island is completed. Piles of wood were left on the island to provide a natural habitat for animals. Planting and minor maintenance work will resume on the island in the spring.
- A majority of the grading work is nearly complete.
- The Aurora City Council voted to approve a $9.7 million construction bid package at its Sept. 13 meeting. The project costs are coming in under projections.
- The Blues Island and shoreline restoration is fully underway. A controlled burn was completed on Blues Island to help clear the invasive and non-native vegetation that had been growing. The area already has been seeded and blanketed and will be reevaluated next spring if any additional clearing is needed.
- The City plans to install a webcam on a radio tower near the old Aurora Police Department, 350 N. River St. The camera will be placed 140 feet into the air and shoot one photo eastward across the Fox River every 15 minutes to provide a time lapse documentation of the project’s progress. The camera is expected to be installed in the next several weeks, so check back on the City’s website for future updates.
- After City, Fox Valley and state leaders broke ground on RiverEdge Park in mid-July, construction continues with grading work and shoreline restoration. The Music Garden, which will be the first phase of construction, will be built across the street from the Aurora Transportation Center, 233 N. Broadway Ave. The entertainment venue will serve as a cultural events hub within a natural setting of the Fox River and downtown.
- The City received the full $8 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Revitalization Zone program (DCEO) that was originally announced last fall. The City has now secured $15 million in grant money to use toward the public/private venture, including grants from the Fox Valley Park District ($3 million), Kane County Forest Preserve District ($2 million) and the Dunham Fund ($2 million).
- The bid package for the major part of the RiverEdge Park construction is slated to go to City Council for approval in September.
- The old Aurora Police Department building, 350 N. River St., is scheduled to be demolished sometime this fall.
City Breaks Ground on RiverEdge Park Project
City of Aurora and Fox Valley leaders came together July 15 to break ground on RiverEdge Park, which will serve as a premiere regional entertainment venue that will foster economic development in the downtown.
RiverEdge Park will be located along the Fox River between New York Street and Illinois Avenue in downtown Aurora. The Music Garden, which will be the first phase of construction, will hold up to 9,500 people and serve as a cultural events hub within a natural setting of the Fox River and downtown.
Mayor Tom Weisner thanked local and state dignitaries for their support for the public/private venture, including State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, State Sen. Linda Homes, Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, Stewart Beach of the Dunham Fund, Fox Valley Park District Executive Director Nancy McCaul, Kane County Forest Preserve Executive Director Monica Meyers, Brook McDonald of The Conservation Foundation and the Aurora City Council. The groundbreaking took place at the future home of the Dunham Pavilion, which will be built across from the Aurora Transportation Center, 233 N. Broadway Ave.
“RiverEdge Park will serve as a catalyst for creating new construction jobs today while spurring economic development and private sector employment, which will help strengthen the City’s tax base for years to come,” Mayor Weisner said.
The City has secured $15 million in grant money for RiverEdge Park including $8 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) River Edge Redevelopment Zone program, $3 million from the Fox Valley Park District, $2 million from the Kane County Forest Preserve District and $2 million from the Dunham Fund. The estimated cost of the first phase of construction is $12.7 million.
The Music Garden, which is expected to be completed in October 2012, will host the Blues on the Fox and Downtown Alive! concert series and other community events. Aside from the entertainment venue, other RiverEdge Park amenities will include a children’s play area, fountains, walking paths, a pedestrian bridge and open natural areas.
“The RiverEdge Park development will provide our community with a place for families to enjoy a variety of outdoor entertainment while helping to stimulate the local economy and spur private-sector growth in the area,” State Rep. Chapa LaVia said. “I am pleased to be involved in this development and thankful for the continued efforts of all those involved in this amazing project.”
The park is the centerpiece of a 10-year master plan for the City. In recent years, Aurora has made numerous advancements to create a City prepared for the future including a renewed focus on the environment, creating a more sustainable community and revitalizing the historic downtown. The RiverEdge Park project supports that theme by cleaning up former industrial properties and restoring the Fox River to its original prominence in order to attract new residents and businesses to a revitalized downtown city center.
“The collaboration allowed the City and the Fox Valley Park District to fulfill their desires to protect riverfront property for public use,” McCaul said.
The $8 million DCEO grant also is estimated to create 150 construction jobs and spur new development, which is estimated to create between 450 to 600 private-sector and non-retail jobs in Aurora.
“Through the River Edge program, we’re investing in the future of our river communities by supporting those efforts that are fostering economic growth, attracting investment and creating jobs,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “This project is the first step in what we hope will be a brighter and more prosperous future for the people of Aurora.”
Other local leaders who had partnered with the City to make RiverEdge Park a reality believe the project creates numerous benefits to the Fox Valley region.
“The Dunham Fund is pleased to be part of a great project that involves the City of Aurora and the beautiful Fox River,” said Stewart Beach, chairman of the Dunham Fund. “The organization is also excited that RiverEdge Park will create more jobs for local contractors in the Aurora community.”
Senator Linda Holmes added, “RiverEdge Park will be a great environmental asset to Aurora and will help beautify the downtown district. By creating jobs for local construction workers, this project is a win all the way around.”