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Naper Commons

Nokia of America Corporation is the owner of approximately 175 acres, which is commonly referred to as the Nokia Campus, located at the northwest corner of Naper Boulevard and Warrenville Road in the City of Naperville.  The Nokia Campus is improved with multiple interconnected office buildings comprising approximately 1.6 million square feet and is served by a combination of parking decks and surface parking lots.  In April of 2020 the City of Naperville approved a 4 lot subdivision of the Nokia Campus and rezoned the northern parcel (Lot 4), comprising of 67-acres, for residential development.  Lot 4 is now zoned R-2 (Single-Family and Low-Density Multiple-Family Residence District), with a conditional use for a planned unit development.

Pulte Home Company, LLC is the contract purchaser of Lot 4.  Pulte seeks to develop Lot 4 as a mixed-residential community built around an actively amenitized central park space that compliments the vast passive open space located within the Danada Forest Preserve.  The subdivision will be known as Naper Commons. With three distinct housing lines (The Estates, The Meadows, and The Townes), Naper Commons will add to the diversity of the City’s housing stock and meets the various needs and desires for a broad spectrum of homebuyers. 

Project Location Map

Located near the Freedom Drive interchange with I-88, Naper Commons benefits from extraordinary roadway access, is located within a major employment corridor, and is proximate to abundant shopping, dining and entertainment options.  At the same time, Naper Commons is nestled almost within the Danada Forest Preserve, creating a quiet enclave with unparalleled access to preserved open space and passive recreational amenities. 

The mixed-residential offerings at Naper Commons will attract a diverse array of buyers in terms of income and housing needs. The Townes will consist of 66 homes comprising a combination of one and two-story homes that transition between more intensive office uses and the single-family portion of the community. The Meadows, located at the heart of Naper Commons, will consist of 130 single-family detached homes.  Both single-story and two-story homes will be offered in The Meadows. The Meadows is built around a highly-amenitized park that is central to the theme of the Naper Commons.  The Meadows prioritizes front porches and common open space over large private yards to encourage a strong sense of community. The northern portion of the Naper Commons, to be known as The Estates, is comprised of larger homes on larger lots, many of which back up to open space. The Estates homes will appeal to move-up homebuyers based on locational attributes and award-winning modern home designs.

Representative Images of Naper Commons Park

Responses to Neighbor Comments

Pulte hosted resident meetings On December 1st and December 2nd to discuss development details associated with the proposed development of Naper Commons.  We received written Q&A during the resident meetings and a number of follow-up questions after the meetings.  Most of the questions we’ve received relate to a few select issues.  We’ve identified the top issues and provide the following information in response:

Wetlands & Stormwater

A number of residents have characterized the property as a “wetland” or “swampland.”  That characterization in false.  Pulte hired a wetland scientist to investigate the property and has coordinated directly with DuPage County and the City of Naperville regarding the investigation.

A critical wetland located within the Danada Forest Preserve extends onto a small area (1.49 acres) in the northernmost portion of the Naper Commons property.  The development plan entirely avoids this critical wetland.  In addition, a buffer area will be dedicated around the wetland and additional natural habitat (native stormwater basin) will be constructed along the western edge of the buffer, creating a substantial buffer to the residential development.

An isolated wetland located within the Danada Forest Preserve extends onto a small area (.22 acres) in the northeast portion of the Naper Commons property.  The development plan entirely avoids this isolated wetland. In addition, a buffer area will be dedicated around the isolated wetland and additional natural habitat (native stormwater basin) will be constructed along the southern edge of the buffer, creating substantial buffer to the residential development.

Our geotechnical engineer took approximately 27 soil boring measuring up to 25’ below surface grade.  The geotechnical investigation confirmed Pulte’s expectations that much of the Naper Commons property was disturbed during prior development activity and includes non-native fill.  Neither the wetland delineation nor the geotechnical investigations uncovered issues that would make the property unsuitable for development.

The DuPage County Stormwater Ordinance governs future development and how water is handled. Expected rainfall events are prescribed by the ordinance and were updated by the State of Illinois in the last year.  Danada Woods Townhomes was developed with the benefit of stormwater generally consistent with the DuPage Ordinance, albeit based on lower expected rainfall events.   Fairmeadow was developed prior to the adoption of the ordinance, relies primarily on overland drainage across private residential lots, and does not provide any stormwater detention.  The Nokia Campus is subject to the Hesterman Agreement and accommodates a large amount of stormwater in Bell Pond.  We’ve accounted for drainage from historic development of the Nokia Campus and both Fairmeadow and Danada Woods Townhomes in the preparation of the preliminary stormwater analysis and report for Naper Commons.   The stormwater report includes a detailed model of the existing and proposed drainage for 2-year and 10-year storm events as required by ordinance. The stormwater report, which shows no negative impact on surrounding property owners, has been approved by the City of Naperville’s engineering department.

Historic FEMA maps had limited impact on the Nokia Campus.  However, when the FEMA floodplain maps were recently updated in 2019, the updated map erroneously identified the flood elevation on the Nokia Campus as 740.4 feet.  DuPage County, which regulates floodplain on behalf of FEMA, has reviewed detailed modeling of the area and is in the process of correcting the floodplain maps.  The updated base elevation is expected to be set at 738.9.  

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

We completed an application for an Ecological Compliance Assessment (ECOCAT) in accordance with Illinois state requirements set forth by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).  This assessment evaluates likelihood of impact on endangered or threatened species and protected natural areas.  IDNR concluded that the project was unlikely to have an adverse effect on protected resources.

LANDSCAPING

A large portion of the Naper Commons property is currently improved with a large surface parking lot that is in poor condition.  The parking lot was constructed under the ORI District regulations to serve the associated office buildings located on the Nokia Campus. The south portion of the parking lot appears to have been constructed in the early 1990’s.  The north portion the parking lot appears to have been constructed in the early 2000’s.   As part of these parking lot expansions a berm with associated landscaping was constructed to meet applicable code requirements intended to create buffering between residential and non-residential uses.  Under Section 6-8B-7 of the Municipal Code, in the ORI District a 100’ setback is required adjacent to a residential zoning district.  In addition, Section 5-10-3.5.2.4.1 requires a minimum 6’ “barrier” with continuous landscape across 50% of the parking lot.  The berm located on the portion of the Naper Commons property adjacent to Fairmeadow was constructed to satisfy these residential to non-residential buffer requirements.  There are 42 surveyed trees located on the berm adjacent to Fairmeadow.  More than 50% of these trees are either dead or in poor condition.

The Municipal Code imposes no requirement for a berm, fencing or other landscape enhancements between residential properties.  Pulte originally proposed a split-rail fence to delineate the boundary line between Naper Commons and Fairmeadow, the proposed fence being consistent with design proposed to delineate the boundary between Naper Commons and the Danada Forest Preserve.  Based on resident feedback, Pulte is agreeable to providing a 6’ solid board-on-board fence along the property line between Fairmeadow and Naper Commons.

In the southern area of the Naper Commons property, adjacent to the Danada Townhomes, we have tagged and surveyed existing trees but are still working to evaluate and incorporate the existing trees in the Tree Preservation Plan.  We intend to preserve desirable trees along the property line and supplement this area with additional plans (including evergreens) where appropriate.  Pulte will work with the Danada Townhome Association and the City of Naperville toward this end.  It should be noted that these areas will be owned and maintained by the Association that will be formed to govern The Townhomes at Naper Commons.  Based on resident feedback, Pulte is also agreeable to supplementing the additional landscaping with a 6’ solid fencing consistent with the character of the existing fencing owned by the Danada Townhome Association.

TRAFFIC

Pulte hired a professional traffic engineer to conduct a traffic study, which was performed consistent with standards of the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE).  The City of Naperville’s engineer team has reviewed and approved the traffic study.  The proposed development will add approximately 162 trips to the roadway network during the am peak hour and roughly 216 trips during the pm peak hour.  The site generated traffic represents approximately 1% of the volume handled at the Naperville Road and Warrenville Road intersection, having a negligible impact on the function of the roadways.

The Fairmeadow Subdivision contemplated a future connection to the west when it was originally platted with right-of-way extending to the property line.  Pulte has proposed a connection to 39th Street based on three primary factors: i) traditional planning concepts which encourage connectivity between adjacent developments; ii) the request of the City of Naperville; and iii) feedback from District 200, which has historically had issues with bus service in Fairmeadow.  To be clear, Naper Commons is not reliant on the connection to 39th Street, as sufficient access is provided to the south via Lucent Lane.  The Township Highway Commission has expressed concern regarding the proposed connection.  Moreover, District 200 has withdrawn its request for the connection.  Pulte has no objection to eliminating the connection to 39th Street if agreeable to the City of Naperville. 

LOT SIZES/DENSITY

In April the City of Naperville rezoned the Naper Commons property to R-2 Single-Family and Low Density Multiple-Family Residence District.   Under the R-2 zoning, density is regulated by the lot area standards.  By this measure, the Naper Commons property could be developed with as many as 703 townhomes or 469 single family homes.  Pulte proposes 66 townhomes and 175 single family homes, a small fraction of the total number of units that could be accommodated under applicable zoning.

The City of Naperville’s planning staff specifically challenged Pulte to be “creative” in the design of the subdivision.  Understanding trends in the marketplace and likely buyers at Naper Commons, Pulte elected to focus on a concept that emphasizes community and public open spaces.  The adjacent Danada Forest Preserve provides an abundance of passive open space.  Pulte is working with Forest Preserve District staff to construct a dedicated public connection into the Forest Preserve which will benefit resident of Naper Commons and the broader community.  Given this context, Pulte focused on a unique design for Naper Commons Park- a central gathering space intended to bring activity and energy to the heart of the neighborhood.  The smaller size of the park and the extraordinary level of amenity proposed for the park space are critical to the concept.  Building off that idea, Pulte developed unique elevations for Naper Commons that emphasize front porches- emphasizing community and encouraging outdoor activity.

DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULE 

  • PZC- December 16, 2020
  • Preliminary Approvals- Q1 2021
  • Final Approvals- Q2 2021
  • Site Development Work- Q2 2021
  • Model Open- Q4 2021
  • First Closing- Q2 2022
  • Last Closing- Q4 2024

Additional details regarding the plans for Naper Commons can found through the following links. The downloadable documents are  provided as a public accommodation and are subject to revision throughout the development process with the City of Naperville.

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