By Steve Lord of The Beacon News
Aurora’s economic development officials are set to bring forward six major development deals in the next few months.
Five of those deals are downtown, involving some older, historic buildings that have long been the subject of possible redevelopment.
The sixth is a new project at 75th Street and Ogden Avenue on the far East Side that was anticipated in the draft of the recently released Route 59 plan.
“We took the organic approach,” said David Dibo, Aurora’s Economic Development director. “Instead of looking at one big developer, we are talking about different developers, different projects, different incentives. It’s done in a way that makes sense.”
Dibo spoke to members of the City Council this week as they met as a Committee of the Whole. He was joined by John Curley, chief development officer; Martin Lyons, chief financial officer; and Don Hughes, downtown development coordinator.
All four, along with Corporation Counsel Richard Veenstra, have been working as a team to put together redevelopment plans between the different developers and the city.
Dibo said the team will begin bringing the agreements forward to the City Council in the new few months, beginning as soon as the next Finance Committee meeting next week.
Lyons said the city took “more of a boutique approach” to the redevelopment plans, recognizing that what goes for the East Side is different than what goes for downtown, that what works for a big redevelopment might not work for a smaller one.
“There is … more interest in downtown than we’ve had in more than 20 years,” said Curley. “Some of these buildings have been empty, there was talk about them being knocked down. We’re excited about bringing these forward.”