In October, staff from the City’s Community and Economic Development Department attended the annual Deal Making Convention at Navy Pier in Chicago hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). St. Charles was just one of several municipalities that were present at the conference. The event is an opportunity to promote the City of St. Charles as a place to do business and network with developers, real estate professionals and retailers looking to expand their presence in the Chicagoland area.
The City created a booth display that highlighted key demographic information for St. Charles and some of the recent development projects happening around the city. At the ICSC conference, the booth caught the attention of both people familiar with St. Charles and others who were not. In particular, the First Street redevelopment received a lot attention. Click here for a closer look at the booth.
For those who were familiar with St. Charles, many commented on just how much downtown, particularly First Street, has evolved over the past decade and how the development vision is coming to life. For those less familiar with the city, developers and contractors mainly, they were still interested to hear about the mixed-use redevelopment along the river front that First Street is known for. Anyone interested in similar redevelopment opportunities were informed about the downtown Comprehensive Plan update and the forthcoming RFP that will go out early 2020 to redevelop the former police station site on North Riverside Avenue.
In the end, the ICSC Deal Making convention was a worthwhile event. Staff heard from commercial real estate brokers who work in the Tri-Cities area that they met new leads on potential tenants at the conference. Additionally, staff was able to attend seminars on the latest trends in the restaurant and retail industries and gain knowledge that they will bring back to the community. And the opportunity to engage with other municipalities and see what they are doing in terms of economic development and municipal marketing were some of the key highlights.