Libertyville’s new Church Street parking garage is now open

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The new Church Street parking garage opened on Jan. 20. There is now 317 new parking spaces available in downtown Libertyville.

Abbey Humbert, Staff Writer

On Jan. 20, Libertyville had the grand opening of the new Church Street parking garage.  

Libertyville already has a two-story parking garage at the corner of Lake and Brainard Streets. That parking garage was constructed in 2009. Alone, it does not accommodate the amount of parking needed for the growing community.

“Our downtown is thriving and parking was becoming difficult for residents and visitors.  The new parking garage provides much-needed additional parking so that the downtown can continue to grow and attract more visitors,” expressed Mayor Terry Weppler in an email.

The village did not want to construct one big parking garage at the corner of Lake and Brainard because it would not fit in with the surrounding town. Instead plans were made around the idea of having two parking garages.

The village began looking for spots for the new parking garage in 2009. They wanted a garage on the east side of Milwaukee Avenue but soon realized there wasn’t sufficient land. Then they began looking into where they ended up building it, on Church Street. This new garage has 317 parking spaces.

The Church Street parking garage was suppose to be built in 2020, “however, the Board [of Trustees] saw that parking was becoming difficult at this time and decided to go ahead and build the parking garage now since bond rates are low and construction costs will only rise during the coming years,” exclaimed Mayor Weppler in an email.

During the construction, and prior to beginning the construction, there were minor setbacks. Before building, the initial bid for the project came in too high. They had to redesign ramps and estimated underground parking in order to bring down the costs of the overall project, Mayor Weppler said.

There was also an issue with the elevators. They are on backorder and are supposed to be up and running six weeks after the opening of the parking garage in early March.

Not only will the people of Libertyville benefit from this extra parking, but so will the local businesses and potentially new businesses.

“The garage will provide customer and employee parking for the south and east areas of the downtown.  It also serves as an economic development tool for the downtown by providing free parking for customers of local businesses,” said John Spoden, the Director of Community Development in an email.

Parking in the garage has a four-hour time limit. Employee parking will be offered but requires an annual fee.