Work begins on Fox Valley Mall Park in Aurora that will include a pathway and stage for events – Chicago Tribune
Work will soon begin on a new park at the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, which should be ready for use by the fall, mall officials said.
Called Fox Yard, the one-acre area of green space will include a half-mile walking path, a dog park, picnic-style casual seating, an area for lawn games, a stage for events and more, the developers said in a press release. Release.
It “will be used as a community gathering place and enabled with events and entertainment for Fox Valley Mall shoppers” and those who live near the park area, according to the developers.
While a schedule of events has yet to be made official, officials said they envision the park as a space for activities such as food truck festivals, a farmers market, beer garden , outdoor movie nights, recitals or school dance concerts, live art events, pop-up shops and more.
The park goes near where Centennial Real Estate, owner of the mall, is building three new apartment buildings near where the Sears store was located at the mall. The buildings will include a total of 304 apartments.
Mall officials plan to open the apartments for occupancy by September.
Alongside this development, a 216-unit seniors’ apartment building is set to be built, with the plan to open these units by the end of 2024.
Scott Samson, senior general manager of Fox Valley Mall, said the new park would have a variety of uses.
“There will be a walking path and accommodations for events that could range from community festivals to food truck events to a variety of different things we can do outside of the mall,” he said. .
He also said the park would connect residents of the site’s new residential buildings “to the rest of the mall”.
“The green space and walking path will help connect local residents – we don’t want them to just look up and see a construction site,” he said of residents of new housing being built. “We’re looking more for an urban experience and it’s no longer a sea of asphalt that was the mall’s original footprint.”
The park and new residential areas – including a four-story apartment building with 319 multi-family units planned on the north side of Fox Valley Mall – are part of a reimagining of the mall.
The mall has fallen on hard times over the past few decades, as have malls across the country due to changing shopping habits, with more people shopping online rather than going in physical stores.
Samson said that at this point the number of future development phases for the mall “remains to be seen until we feel like the mall has been completely reinvented.”
Officials said the mall’s new park would be a boon to everyone in Aurora and Naperville.
“The communities of Aurora and Naperville will be invited to use the space to gather for celebrations, children’s birthday parties, workouts and other gatherings of family and friends,” mall officials said in the park press release.
David Sharos is a freelance journalist for The Beacon-News.