The City has been working to find out what the public wants on 5th Ave.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One of the things we seniors would like to see there is affordable housing for seniors. Many seniors wish to downsize after their family leaves the nest. However, many of the new apartments and condos cost more than staying in their house and paying the taxes. Affordable housing is also the same requirements for our millennials. We would like to see our millennials move to Naperville and be able to stay here. Both seniors and millennials need the same thing.
The new apartments and condos also should be designed for “lifetime living.” No-step showers, wide doorways, etc.
One of the things we would strongly like to see is intergenerational housing. Statistics have shown that seniors live longer when around younger people. And the younger people enjoy the seniors. Both age groups are an asset to each other. It is more like a friendly neighborhood.
Another amenity we would like to see on 5th Avenue is a performance theater … and especially handicapped accessible. Seniors would love to have it right next door to their apartment. Currently the parking lots are empty in the evening and weekends, so there would be double use of the parking spaces.
The traffic would not be as much as when an express train comes in. And they all leave at once.
Theater patrons would leave gradually. Many of the millennials and seniors would not own a car. Neighbors enjoy walking to the summer band concerts in Central Park. And neighbors would enjoy the easy access to 5th Ave. The location is ideal. The wave of future designs for a city is for a “walkable” city.
We have a good start for a cultural district. We have DuPage Children’s Museum, Naperville Art League, North Central College for learning, but I think music is missing.
The three things needed for 5th Avenue create AWE. Affordable, Walkable and Entertainment. Many towns are putting housing and apartments by the train stations—there’s nothing different about that. But with the addition of entertainment, it will be vibrant. We need to take our time to plan it. We need to do it right and leave a legacy for our future residents.
Chuckle time: Many stores do not give discounts to seniors. They say we have had long enough to save our money.