Libertyville considers building new parking structure
Updated: July 3, 2012 9:56AM
Now that major parking improvements have been completed in the northwest quadrant of the downtown area, Libertyville officials are looking ahead to continuing their efforts in the southeast quadrant.
Using tax-increment financing, the village has already built a $9.5 million, three-level parking structure at Lake Street and Brainerd Avenue in the northwest quadrant that accommodates 364 vehicles.
Officials followed this up last year by redesigning an outdoor lot behind Village Hall that provides an additional 160 parking spaces. Parking is free for both the outdoor lot and the parking facility.
Additionally, the nearby Cook Park Public Library reconfigured its parking when they renovated the library to take more cars off the streets earning gratitude from local shop owners.
Tuesday night, Village Administrator Kevin Bowens shared some ideas with the Village Board’s Streets Committee for the next phase in combating congestion. He indicated potential plans for building a four-story parking structure on possible leased property next to Cook Apartments on South Cook Street. The Parking Committee has already approved the idea, he said.
Bowens said the plan would be to lease the apartment’s adjacent outdoor parking lot, since the village controls no land in that area, and build a four-story parking structure off East Cook Street.
Apartment residents would occupy 70 parking spaces in a gated underground area to replace the existing surface lot, and three stories of parking above ground would be available to accommodate 230 spaces for shoppers and Metra commuters.
Bowens said such a public parking facility in the southwest quadrant of the downtown shopping area is necessary to counter-balance available parking facilities in the northwest quadrant. It is anticipated that TIF funding would again be utilized for the project.
He said the village parking consultants have indicated the plan is feasible and the distance of 360 feet from the parking facility to Milwaukee Avenue is not an excessive walk in their judgment.
Also under consideration is resurfacing of an outdoor parking lot of Milwaukee Avenue by the Island Tap.
While the village owns only a small portion of this popular public parking property, they have been maintaining it for several years.
“Staff is now looking for direction from various village bodies on whether or not to proceed with further discussions with Cook Apartment owners on a possible lease agreement for building a parking structure there,” Bowens said. The matter is scheduled for board consideration in June.