New Water street district to debut; hotels and retail available


Lexi Haskell and Charlotte Poole

The Water Street development in July 2016 (left) versus September 2016 (right).

Zain Habib, Co-Business Manager

Since early 2015, a plot of land located in the southern section of Downtown Naperville has experienced lively construction. The Water Street District, a 2-acre plot  adjacent to the Municipal Center, has become the home of the newest development in Naperville. Previously residing were several law offices, mom-and-pop shops, single family homes, and a floral store. Now the District will house a multi-story complex complete with restaurants, retail shops, franchised stores, and Downtown Naperville’s first hotel.

Marquette Properties, the developers behind the project completed a total buyout of the District back in 2013. As soon as the buyout became final, plans immediately went into motion to develop the land. Partnering with the City of Naperville’s Department of Engineering and Development, Marquette is set to complete the entire project by mid-2017.

The City of Naperville is ecstatic over the building, since it will provide vital resources to the city. Previously, the city collected minimal taxes from the small landowners in that area. With the new development, the city will really cash in.

BIll Novack, President of the Department of Engineering, Transportation, and Development, is excited for the change, as it will bring in fresh capital for the city.

“During the development, they’re [Marquette Capital] are paying the full tax bill, and that money goes into the city. The city will use that money to help pay for the revitalization of the riverwalk, and the development of a parking garage on Water Street,” Novack said.

The complex features two high-end restaurants, two clothing retailers, and a luxury daycare center. Southern Tide, a southern clothing store, had its grand opening on November 4th. London Skye, an English clothing retailer, will carry high end apparel and accessories. The opening date is yet to be known, though they are aiming for early 2017. Restaurants include a sushi grill by the name of Blue Sushi Sake Grill. Additionally, attached to the hotel there will be a Mexican bistro called Bien Trucha, which will open at the same time as the hotel.

The crown jewel of the development will be the Hotel Indigo. Occupying the top four floors of the building, the Hotel Indigo will comprise of 158 rooms, including 37 suites. The most expensive room in the hotel will be the riverfront honeymoon suite. It will also feature over 4500 sq. ft. of meeting space for weddings and corporate retreats. The hotel starts accepting reservations for the weekend of November 18th.

Although the brand, Indigo, is not well known among average consumers, the developers are certain that it’s the right match for Naperville. Indigo is a unique brand as it adapts to each location. Each Hotel Indigo is unique in its own way, and they are supposed to match their surroundings. This particular hotel features an all-oak lobby fit with a complete virtual Concierge, the first of its kind in Naperville. The front desk will also have bowls of fresh artisan chocolates that are being supplied from Naper Nuts & Sweets. All the food is locally sourced from the Naperville area, and fresh produce will be shipped into the hotel everyday.

Doug Kelly, Director of Sales, has high hopes for the performance of the hotel. The hotel is very awkwardly placed compared to the other hotels in Naperville. Of the twenty or so hotels that Naperville hosts, every single one is along I-88 on the north side of Naperville, adjacent to many of the corporate campuses. But in Kelly’s opinion, this will be beneficial to the hotel.

“From the local side, we’re going to have a lot of people come in for staycations or romantic evenings. [Additionally] we are expecting a lot of guests from out of town to come in to visit family. But we are really going to have a huge presence in weddings and reunions and things along those lines,” Kelly said. The reception hall’s location overlooking the riverwalk is the main selling point for weddings and meetings. The hotel will also be a player in the corporate traveler market as well, already attracting some travel contracts with local firms.

Students at Naperville Central are excited to see the new building come to life.  

Senior Phillip Sajaev thinks it will bring a fresh face to Naperville. “I think it will help make Naperville have a more fresh look,” Sajaev said. The complex is set to bring in more business from the burgeoning schools around the area.

From being a dejected part of town to being a construction zone for the past couple years, the new and improved Water Street District is set to make its mark on Naperville.