Lake and Forest garage to close Aug. 4

Village Manager: Garage to be demolished for new high-rise project

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

A two-story high banner appeared over the weekend on the side of the village-owned parking garage at Lake Street and Forest Avenue, announcing that Aug. 4 is the last day the garage will be open to the public.

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said in a telephone interview Monday that the closure of the garage is among the first steps necessary to make way for the long-awaited 21-story mixed-use Lake and Forest real estate development. The project will include a new, enclosed parking garage.

Pavlicek said ownership of the land beneath the village-owned garage will transfer to development firm Golub & Co. in late September or early October. The demolition of the parking garage is expected to take place in early October, she said.

Following the garage's closure in early August, the village will salvage usable equipment, such as pay stations and light fixtures, Pavlicek said.

"There's a sign at the garage (informing parkers of the closure), so people can't miss it," Pavlicek said.

She said there is "more than enough capacity" to accommodate displaced parkers at the Holley Court Garage, 1125 Ontario St., and The Avenue Parking Garage, 720 North Blvd.

Pavlicek said the developer is practically done with the permitting process for the 270-glass and steel apartment building with ground-level retail. The adjacent parking garage that will be built as part of the development will contain 588 parking spaces shared between the public and building tenants.

The village is contributing $9 million to the project, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.


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Allowed is right  

Posted: July 14th, 2014 1:39 AM

@Just wondering: That was a very stubborn, pig-headed intentional plan by the village board to try to make everyone so disgusted with that parking structure that they would eventually welcome a highrise. How many times were we told, "No! You can only have a new parking structure if you take the high-rise with it." They wouldn't even sweep or patrol that mess and let weeds grow in front and urine cover the elevator walls. Many tourists had that as their first stop in OP too. It was outrageous!

bike visitor from Forest Park  

Posted: July 13th, 2014 10:10 AM

Maybe now that pedicab tour company will store his vehicles on his OWN property or PAY to store them somewhere, instead of taking up all of the free, COVERED bike parking meant for commuters and visitors to Oak Park. If you've ever had a bike lock freeze on you, this is an issue. Then you want to put your bike in a safe place while you shop, etc. Except you find all of the covered bike parking spots taken by a BUSINESS, who doesn't PAY to store their rusting hulks on public property.

Double decker road?  

Posted: July 11th, 2014 5:55 PM

Dont forget to include Thurs nights out and we have a party. Maybe well just turn it back to a mall.......

Traffic Madness  

Posted: July 11th, 2014 12:59 PM



Posted: July 11th, 2014 8:41 AM

If what Ms. Pavlicek said is true about plenty of parking, why was the Holley Court garage sold out for 24 hour parking during one of the permit renewal periods last year?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 10th, 2014 10:34 PM

I agree with Magpie. I live in 100 Forest Place for five years. We used Certified for our daily needs -- milk, butter, etc. For the balance of our shopping we used and still use the chain groceries in and out of the village. We would have used Certified a lot more if the product selection, fresh food quality, and customer service were better.


Posted: July 10th, 2014 4:43 PM

@Dan Haley. Thanks. I feel better. I mostly avoid the congested area now, but I'm just one person and if the developers are willing to put their money in to it.........I'd still, though, like to know how it was decided to give $1.5M to Pete's? Was there a secret agreement between somebody? A VOP policy that I'm unaware of? Were other potential interests offered the same amount? When did Pete's "ask" for this money - before or after the purchase? Again, thanks.


Posted: July 10th, 2014 4:02 PM

@Shelley. You are correct. I can state, with some authority, that relatively few of the residents of 100 Forest Place took their business to Certifiedland, for example.


Posted: July 10th, 2014 1:09 PM

The % of people shopping in the stores from the walkable residents is quite low. The number of residential units in DTOP has jumped dramatically in last 10 yrs and yet still stores come and go due to lack of customers. The other flip side is with more congestion retailers wont come if customets won't come. RF Seems to have a slightly better plan that makes more sense. I agree with Traffic Madness

just wondering  

Posted: July 10th, 2014 12:56 PM

Just to note: the concrete parking garage at 100 Forest Place, across the street from the Lake & Forest site, has the same multi-level reinforced concrete parking garage built near the same time. Why is the 100 Forest Place parking garage in such good condition, while the village parking garage allowed to deteriorate?

Brian Chang from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 10th, 2014 12:55 PM

Wouldn't the people who live there (in DTOP) be highly likely to shop there?

Traffic Madness  

Posted: July 10th, 2014 12:01 PM

Keep building in an already congested area and you will have a catch 22. You'll have a ton of people living there and a bunch of retail vendors BUT NOBODY WILL SHOP THERE because it be such a P.I.T.A to easily navigate.

Traffic Madness  

Posted: July 10th, 2014 11:42 AM

When you have a retail area like DTOP, one must think NOT JUST of the parking, but ALSO of the traffic flow of the vehicles getting TO and FRO such area!!!!!! When you include residential living space amongst said retail area, you also must think about some of those same residents driving to and from work everyday!!!

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: July 8th, 2014 4:32 PM

Just to note: 100 Forest Place is just across the street at Lake and Forest and stands 16 stories. Mills Park Tower, the senior facility run by the Oak Park Residence Corp. is 19 stories.


Posted: July 8th, 2014 4:19 PM

And every time that I read "21-story.....development" I just say to myself "wow!" There is simply NOTHING any where near that height that I'm aware of outside of downtown Chicago. How did that size get determined? Why not 50 stories? VOP destroyed a few businesses during the construction of the brick street on Marion. I can't imagine the impact something like this will have on local businesses. Just another reason to stay far away from Lake St!

June from Oak Park  

Posted: July 8th, 2014 4:07 PM

so where are folks going to park? the Holley Ct garage is filling up quickly


Posted: July 8th, 2014 2:42 PM

The garage was built in 1975, so we got less than 40 years of use out of that giant ugly concrete box. What preceded the parking garage? The Elks Club, a 3-story prairie style building, designed by none other than E.E. Roberts, which had been listed by the IL Historic Structures survey because of its artistic or architectural merit or its contribution to the urban fabric of Oak Park. Some dubious choices made over the years.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 8th, 2014 1:05 PM

I hear you OPT. Stankus Hole is still on my mind.

OP Transplant  

Posted: July 8th, 2014 11:45 AM

My guess is that the garage gets torn down, resulting in a weed-filled empty lot just like the one in front of it for the next few years, as the project continues to be delayed. I hope to be wrong.

John Normand from Oak Park  

Posted: July 8th, 2014 10:24 AM

Handicapped parking needs to be much better policed. I often see people parked in the spots that seem to have better mobility than the average person bounce out of their car either displaying a temporary handicapped sticker. Laziness or being overweight is not considered a disability


Posted: July 8th, 2014 9:19 AM

After this building is built, it should make traffic flow that much better. Not sure I understand how any planners or developers would place more congestion on the corners of very congested roads. If you think it was crazy when Cavalry Church lets out, just add more living space in building and retail. Where is the Village on this????

Jeff from Oak Park  

Posted: July 8th, 2014 9:04 AM

The tear down of this ugly, poorly laid out garage can't happen soon enough for me. However, it does leave the question of where everyone will park for Nineteenth Century Club events (many which are not private). The village might have to ease up on street parking restrictions in that area. Maybe allow it on Forest Avenue.


Posted: July 8th, 2014 7:53 AM

Marnie, there are some handicap spots behind the bank and in the small lot across from it, glad to see this garage go, full of homeless people and it seems like it will fall down at any moment

Marnie Rourke from Oakpark  

Posted: July 8th, 2014 5:07 AM

What a crying shame for those of us who need handicapped parking. There already are not enough spaces in the parking lots serving the Marion Street business district. This means a lot longer walk for many who will find it difficult. Why is the lot across the street from the garage allowed to go unused? Land is precious, but not as precious as being able to go where you wish without fear or suffering. Why not charge for parking, earn a profit, and care for your neighbors?

Joyce Porter from Oak Park  

Posted: July 7th, 2014 6:59 PM

After waiting all these years you'd think they could wait another 2 or 3 weeks until the Festival Theatre season closes.


Posted: July 7th, 2014 6:49 PM

It wasn't just the pancake house. It was also the Certified grocery store and Afro-ware. All thriving businesses kicked out many years too early!


Posted: July 7th, 2014 6:17 PM

And what will the taxpayers get back for the $9 million? Plus the tax revenue from the Pancake House which we could have been collecting all these years.


Posted: July 7th, 2014 5:53 PM

Poor Pancake House. How many years back were they forced to leave and the building demolished...Leases should go on until actual construction financing is approved...<>

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