Thursday, December 1 2022

The future is here.

That’s the sentiment, at least, for Aurora officials as they begin to cut the ribbon on residential developments that took years to complete — and remake the city.

The grand opening on Wednesday was for the 319 Lumen units of Fox Valley, a complex built at the east entrance of Fox Valley Mall in what was once a parking lot for a demolished Sears store that is now just a memory.

On Thursday, the city will cut the ribbon on the reopening of The Terminal building on Galena Boulevard and downtown Broadway, with 20 lofts and retail space on the first floor.

And on Friday, the city will cut the ribbon and raise the onion dome of the Hobbs Building, at Galena and River Street, with 31 apartments and retail and dining space on the first floor.

But Wednesday was Lumen Fox Valley, and city officials, Centennial Real Estate, owners of the mall, and Atlantic Residential, developers of the complex, stood bathed in sunshine outside the shiny new apartments where four residents have already moved in, with six more arriving next week.

“Welcome to the future Fox Valley,” said Scott Samson, Fox Valley Mall Senior General Manager. “We are very proud to celebrate this magnificent development. But our Fox Valley redevelopment doesn’t stop there.

He was referring to things like Fox Valley Yard – just across from Wednesday’s ribbon cutting – which is a large open green space that will be a park, walking area and entertainment venue where people once bought clothes and lawn mowers.

And the second phase of redevelopment is already underway northwest of Lumen of Fox Valley – a 200+ unit senior living center next door, and another apartment complex, this one with 323 units , west of that.

The new Lumen of Fox Valley apartment complex is now open at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.

While Fox Valley Mall has been around since 1975, Samson said he even stopped calling the burgeoning life, work and play development a mall.

“Notice I didn’t say mall,” Samson said. “It’s a campus.”

Mayor Richard Irvin also called it a campus because he pointed out that the bright, sunny day “shed light on Fox Valley”. He presented plaques to Centennial Real Estate and Atlantic Residential, and raised a glass of champagne to toast the day.

“It’s been a long and hard road, but look what we have behind us,” he said.

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