The news has been all good for the city of Aurora’s development services lately.
No sooner did the Building and Permits Division move into the new Development Services Center at 77 S. Broadway than they found out Aurora’s Building Department was named the best in the state by a major insurance website.
“It will help reduce insurance rates in Aurora,” said John Curley, the city’s chief development officer.
One of the reasons for the high ranking, Curley said, was the amount of expertise and staff certification employees in the department.
And that is already on display in the form of a number of certificates on the wall in the first floor of the new services center, Curley said.
More of the city’s development officials are set to move into the center in the next few weeks and the coming year.
Curley said officials are confident the building being ready and have scheduled a ribbon-cutting for June 28.
The Development Services Center is in a former bank building at the corner of Broadway and Benton Street downtown. Most recently, the building held a branch of PNC Bank, but for years it was home to Home Savings & Loan.
The site is historic, too. From the late 1800s to 1929, it was home to the Aurora Opera House.
Now, the building will house all the city’s development services, with the idea that developers can get all the permits they need in one place.
Building and Permits was housed in a smaller building across Water Street from the new center but moved into the center May 30.
Property Standards is due to move in June 25.
The second floor, on the southern portion, eventually will hold engineering and planning. Curley said they hope to move in October.
The mayor’s office of Economic Development, Fire Prevention and Special Events eventually will move into the northern portion of the second floor, although Curley said that will not be designed until the winter.
The former Building and Permits building at 65 Water St. is due to be demolished in about two weeks. Curley said officials plan to have the site restored and in use as a parking lot by the end of July.
That is a temporary use, because city officials have future development planned for the site.
Behind the service center, on the east side of Water Street, the city is in the finishing stages of demolishing a parking garage that was there when the building was a bank.
That site will be filled with materials from the former Building and Permits offices when they are demolished.
Curley said the city hopes to have that filled and the sidewalk along Water done by the end of July or early August.