The last time we checked in on parking in downtown Glen Ellyn, the Village Board was discussing three potential sites to build a new parking garage. The idea was to proactively solve any future parking issues as new businesses continue to move in. With spring right around the corner, Glen Ellyn will be enjoying some new additions to their restaurant lineup, including Sushi Ukai and Nobel House which are set to move into the old Soukup’s building. We should also finally see the long-awaited arrival of Two Hound Red Microbrewery in the old Schmid Pharmacy building.
As these restaurants join fellow newcomers Maize + Mash and McMae’s on Main, in addition to the discussion of even more new restaurants in the former Geische Shoe store, parking could soon become a major issue.
To help solve this, the Village Board is looking to add two new parking garages, and they’re focused primarily on the Civic Center lot at Duane Street, and a location at the corner of Main Street and Pennsylvania near the fire station. Out of the running is the potential Crescent location near the old McChesney & Miller, which has a pending development that looks pretty exciting. The same goes for the Main Street location with the ongoing potential redevelopment of the Giesche lot.
Moving forward the village will be hiring a consultant to help with the design of the new structures, and then the board will need figure out exactly how to pay for all of this. Previous estimates had the garages ranging in cost from between about $6 million for a 111-car garage, up to $13 million for a 330-car garage (although that location is now out of the running). If we assume the parking garages look like the other two options below, then Glen Ellyn is looking at between $11 million and $14.5 million in total cost.
Placing the two garages at the Civic Center location seen above, and the other up at Main and Pennsylvania will space them out nicely and hopefully maximize their utility. Referring to a 2009 parking analysis, Glen Ellyn Planning and Development Director Staci Husberg said that there are about an equal amount of parking spots currently north and south of the tracks, and this should help maintain that balance:
“Basically, we have 1,400 spaces north of the tracks and 1,800 spaces south of the tracks. The study concluded that generally in the entire downtown, we do have a sufficient supply of parking. However, it is not necessarily convenient to the businesses or the customers that are frequenting those businesses.”
From the Village of Glen Ellyn:
Central Business District Streetscape Plan
Since the last major widespread CBD rehabilitation projects were completed in the mid 1980’s, the Board feels that it is time to make this critical investment to the Central Business District. The 2013 streetscape plan includes potential improvements to the streets/curbs, sidewalks, parkway trees, street lighting infrastructure and underground utilities. The Village Board provided direction to proceed ahead with Phase II Design Engineering, following the Capital Improvements Commission’s (CIC) recommendation for a somewhat scaled-back scope of the plan. Funding options will still need to be reviewed. In agreement by all Village Board members, both downtown parking and improvements to the CBD streetscape are key priorities in order to further enhance the downtown’s economic development and growth. Additional conversations and working towards a solution will continue with future public meetings. For more information on both topics, please visit the February 20 agenda packet.
While this all sounds great, the new streetscape plan is expected to cost about $10.4 million, so don’t be too upset if you get a parking ticket downtown because the Village is going to need every last penny to pay for all of this. I have faith that they’ll make it work.