At the Glen Ellyn Village Board meeting on Monday, January 27, the Village Board voted to approve the Civic Center public parking garage project and the construction of a pedestrian access way to Main Street.
The $16.1 million project includes a four-story public parking garage, enhanced access improvements from Main and Duane Streets, and other associated public improvements directly behind the Civic Center at 535 Duane Street. Additionally, the plans include the demolition of 423 N. Main Street, more commonly known as the Shonkwiler building, and the construction of a small plaza area directly off of Main Street.
“The Village Board voted to make a significant investment in our Central Business District to support the restaurants and retail shops, nearby residents, commuters and visitors of the downtown,” said Village President Diane McGinley. “In addition to the garage, downtown projects including private developments, local business investments and multiple Village projects will equate to over $120 million invested into the downtown over the next five years.”
The public parking garage is designed to have 277 stalls within five tiers of parking, one of which is underground. In addition to the garage, a row of ten surface parking stalls are proposed along the west side of the driveway from Duane Street. A total net gain of 212 additional parking stalls will serve Metra commuters, businesses, residents, visitors to Glen Ellyn, as well as Civic Center employees and other Civic Center tenants.
“With the federal grant the Village received for a new train station and pedestrian tunnel on Forest Avenue, commuters will benefit from mostly covered parking at the new Civic Center garage,” said McGinley. “It’s a short walk north on Forest, through the tunnel to the new train station, once that project is complete.”
In 2017, six sites for a future parking garage were evaluated with the Village Board ultimately concluded that constructing a Village-owned parking garage to the south of the Metra line at the Civic Center site was the best alternative. This site was owned and controlled by the Village and considered to be the least visible and least obtrusive location of those that were proposed as alternatives.
The garage was designed to complement the historic architecture style of the Civic Center through the use of similar building materials and design features. As a landmarked property, the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission reviewed and unanimously recommended approval of the parking garage to the Village Board in September 2019.
Additionally, part of this project includes the demolition of the Shonkwiler building, located at 423 N. Main Street, and the residential building to its rear. This demolition will allow for the creation of a public space to serve as a connection point from Main Street to the public parking garage. This improvement will provide better access for customers and employees between the public parking garage and businesses in the downtown.
This decision by the Village Board follows a Public Hearing held in December 2019 by the Village’s Plan Commission. The Commission voted 5-1 to recommend approval of this project to the Village Board.
The project is expected to break ground in the spring of 2020. Construction will begin with underground utility work and the pedestrian connection to Main Street, followed by the construction of the parking garage. The project has a targeted completion date of spring 2021.
For more information on this project, including renderings, site plans and a traffic study, please visit the Village of Glen Ellyn’s website here.