After a week-long delay due to sub-zero temperatures, the Village of Oswego recently celebrated the start of construction on The Reserve at Hudson Crossing.
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, Oswego Village President Gail Johnson and Shodeen President David Patzelt announced the commencement of work on the six-story, two building development; featuring luxury apartments, retail, restaurant space, free public parking and street improvements, on the site of the former Alexander Lumberyard along Washington Street (Route 34) in the village's downtown.
Joined by village administrators and Shodeen employees, Johnson and Patzelt popped a confetti-filled champagne bottle on one of the remaining structures, and counted down to its demolition. Crews will continue clearing the land over the next several days, to pave the way for the project.
In a press release issued Feb. 7, Johnson said, "Our residents told us that what they wanted most for Oswego was to strengthen the heart of this community with renewed interest in our downtown. They wanted more unique dining options, an enhanced shopping district, and places to gather with friends and neighbors on a Friday evening to connect and have fun.
"This is a day we've been looking forward to for a long time, and I am pleased to tell you today that this dream is becoming a reality."
The Reserve at Hudson Crossing began in the fall of 2016, when the Oswego Village Board voted to establish a downtown TIF district to encourage development in the downtown area. Among them was the former Alexander Lumberyard, which closed in 2006 and sat vacant for more than a decade.
In Dec. 2016, the village board voted to purchase the lumberyard, and set about seeking proposals for the property. The winning proposal, from the Geneva-based Shodeen, Inc., combined the lumberyard with adjacent rental properties to create The Reserve at Hudson Crossing.
When complete, the first of the $64 million, two-part project will feature approximately 175 luxury apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail and a a restaurant with outdoor dining along Washington Street, and completely reconstructed streets with benches and other amenities. In addition, parking decks on the lowest floors of the development will continue to be owned by the village, and will provide approximately 320 spaces of free, covered parking for downtown shoppers and diners.
"We knew when we first started that this was the key to development in downtown Oswego," Johnson said. "It's a difficult piece of land to develop, with shallow bedrock and other unique challenges, but it's also perfectly positioned to connect the banks of the Fox River to our charming downtown. We knew that whatever we were going to do with this land had to be something special, and I think we've got that with this project."
"Projects of this magnitude have a lot of working pieces to them," Patzelt said. "But what we have here in Oswego is not just a beautiful project planned for a great piece of land, but also strong, collaborative leadership with a vision for the future of this community.
"We are committed to building something together that will be a catalyst, bringing even more life and excitement to Oswego's engaging downtown."
Construction on The Reserve is expected to take at least three years, according to village officials.
Several construction projects will soon join The Reserve in downtown Oswego including a three-story mixed-use development with retail on the first floor and an office and residences on the upper levels, and a two-story Mexican restaurant along Washington Street, from the team behind the Naperville-based Potter's Place. Together, the two projects will anchor "Block 11," a re-imagined streetscape featuring a pedestrian-friendly shared promenade for shoppers and diners to gather in downtown.