AURORA — City residents and shoppers at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets will see some major demolition, reconstruction and renovations at the complex in the next couple of years.
Simon Property Group unveiled a proposal earlier this month to the planning commission to demolish and rebuild some buildings and modify others in the front portion. The panel accepted preliminary and final site plans for study.
Simon’s Stephen Dworkin said plans include the demolition of 82,388 square feet of existing retail space and building 83,801 square feet of new space, basically on the existing footprint of the property.
The nine buildings affected are between state Route 43 and the complex’s pond and to the north and south of the pond. Dworkin said the firm hopes to start the project in February or March, and complete it within two years.
City Economic Development Director Jack Burge explained Simon seeks to keep up with new trends which retailers nationally are implementing.
“This is an exciting proposal, and we’re fortunate to have the Outlets,” he said. “They bring to Aurora from 3 million to 3.5 million people annually.”
Dworkin said about 30,000 square feet at the center are currently “out of service,” and Simon hopes the reconstruction and renovations will attract businesses to fill that space. He said if all goes well, Phase I should be completed by November 2019 and Phase II by November 2020.
Tenants in buildings will be temporarily relocated and then moved back once new and refurbished buildings are finished. Dworkin also said the pond will be deepened by eight feet and there will be new landscaping and walkways around the complex.
The pond will be drained and about 2,000 cubic yards of soil will be trucked off site. A clay liner will be laid on the bottom of the deepened pond. Dworkin said an area of about 7 1/2 acres drains into the pond.
Other plans include building two fountains in the pond — there is only one now — running a sidewalk across the front of the property along Route 43 and upgrading utilities.
Dworkin explained the number of parking spaces will not be affected, the existing front and side building setbacks will not change and both access points to the complex will remain open during construction and after the entire project is completed.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.