By Jim Hill, Sr.,
Guest Writer for Bev Frier

The Senior Task Force is working closely with the City of Naperville to reimagine the property owned by the city along 5th Avenue near the Naperville Metra station. Currently this property is used mainly for commuter parking.

In 2017, the city council selected Ryan Companies to lead a community engagement process. The city council also formed a steering committee to guide this process. The steering committee includes homeowners from the neighborhoods surrounding the 5th Avenue properties, representatives from the city and Ryan Companies, and representatives of other Naperville resident groups. I was selected to represent the Senior Task Force.

When asked what seniors envision for the property, I stated we want it to be an “AWE-some” place, one that is Affordable, Walkable and Entertaining. Naperville has a growing population of healthy, active seniors looking to downsize. Many of these seniors have moderate incomes and are unable to afford the high-end luxury condos. The 5th Avenue development could fill that void for these retired seniors. How wonderful would it be if these seniors could find an affordable home walkable to downtown Naperville. Even better if it would include multi-generational housing, where seniors, young professionals and families with young children could interact. Statistics prove that seniors live longer and happier lives if surrounded by younger people.

After several months of gathering ideas from the community, Ryan Companies has developed a design for the property. The design incorporates parking decks for commuters, an office building, stores and restaurants, townhomes, condominium and apartment buildings.

This high-level design is currently being studied by the city council. Soon, the council will provide further direction to Ryan Companies on how the design needs to be refined to meet the needs of commuters, neighbors, and of course, seniors.

This is our time to speak up to our councilmen to let them know what we seniors really want. Please let your voice be heard to those that represent you.

Chuckle Time: A thief broke into my house last night. He started searching for money so I woke up and helped him search.