Fulton Market has seen a lot of changes since its meatpacking days. The area has seen a rush of office buildings, retail business, hotels and restaurants and this has created a need for more parking spaces.
The Plumbers Local 130 union has applied for a zoning application and is planning a parking garage at the southwest corner of Randolph and Ada Streets at 1341 W. Randolph Street right next door to its training center.
Crain's Chicago Business states that the plans will include the following:
- Seven story, 272,000 square foot garage
- 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail
- 500 parking spaces
The City Council would still need to sign off on a zoning change. With property values soaring after companies like Google and McDonald's coming to Fulton Market, developers have pushed to build new offices or apartments in the area that could easily generate pricey rents. That made the development of a parking garage a tough sell due to the high cost to buy the property and revenue limitations of such a building.
Due to all the development in the area, a lot of West Loop residents have complained about the lack of parking. Even though the city of Chicago just passed an ordinance in December to add meters throughout Fulton Market and the West Loop, more parking is needed especially since people are not using public transportation as much as they used to prior to the pandemic.
Since the union has owned the lot, they were able to justify the cost to build a garage and meet the growing demand.
The union will need to win the support of various West Loop neighborhood groups to move ahead with its plan, even though the idea of adding more parking to an increasingly crowded area is a good start.
Posted by Judy Lamelza