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Government

Glen Ellyn village leaders eye construction of 2 downtown parking garages

The parking lot at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center at 535 Duane St. is being considered as a potential site for a parking garage in order to create more parking in downtown Glen Ellyn.
The parking lot at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center at 535 Duane St. is being considered as a potential site for a parking garage in order to create more parking in downtown Glen Ellyn.

GLEN ELLYN – Village leaders have narrowed down the potential sites for two parking garages in downtown Glen Ellyn that would meet an increasing demand for parking in the area.

During a workshop meeting Feb. 20 to discuss parking options, village trustees directed staff to focus their efforts on developing two potential parking garages in the downtown — in the Civic Center parking lot along Duane Street and in the parking lot at Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company's fire station. 

The village will move ahead with hiring a consultant to further develop design concepts for the two garages and will continue to evaluate funding options.

Other possible sites for the parking garages, including the Main Street lot near the former Giesche Shoes store and the lot south of Crescent Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue, have been put on hold because of potential development opportunities. The owner of Maize + Mash restaurant in downtown Glen Ellyn wants to transform the former shoe store into a complex that would include a restaurant, cafe and event space.

In addition, the former McChesney & Miller grocery store on Crescent Boulevard is being eyed for development. The store closed in 2014 after 152 years in business.

According to a parking analysis in the village's 2009 downtown plan, there are about 3,200 parking spaces in the downtown, including public and private spaces.

"Basically, we have 1,400 spaces north of the tracks and 1,800 spaces south of the tracks," Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg told trustees during a special workshop meeting Dec. 18, 2017. "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."

A 2013 streetscape plan and parking study also concluded there was an adequate supply of parking in the downtown; however, the location, visibility and accessibility didn't match the needs of the customers and the businesses, she said.

Village officials also are considering a streetscape plan to make improvements to streets, curbs, sidewalks, parkway trees and street lighting infrastructure in the downtown. The improvements are estimated to cost $10.4 million.

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