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Group hopes to sell commuter parking spaces

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A group of developers who own property near the Route 59 Metra station are planning to meet with the city to discuss a plan to turn their land into between 170 and 180 commuter parking spots, which they will sell to commuters for $8,900.

The owners estimate that with a loan, the spots would cost an average commuter $30 a month, while the city charges $120 for residents and $145 for nonresidents every three months for a permit in its lot.

There is currently an estimated two-year wait for a permit at the Route 59 lot, and a 6 ½ and nine-year wait for a permit in the downtown lots.

With these factors in mind, do you think it makes sense to buy one of these spots if the plan is approved? Would you buy one? Do you think they will sell out, and if so, how quickly?

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Everyone who is excited about this new parking opportunity at the Route 59 station should also look into the proposal by the Omnia group to add 950 new commuter parking spaces in a underground, weather protected garage at the Downtown Naperville Station. This information is on the Omnia website: www.omniaarts.org.

The new underground, weather protected garage would be large enough to hold all of the parking that is currently on the lots and streets north of the tracks, as well as the new 950 spaces. The City of Naperville would own the parking garage.

The city will consider this proposal along with some that are currently in the drawing stages by the city planners. Go to the City of Napeville, 5th Avenue Study information to find out more. The information can also be accessed via the Omnia website. If you like the Omnia plan, let the city know as soon as possible - your vote and voice is important.

Omnia is also proposing to build condos, townhouses and single family homes along with a Performing Arts Center. The garage and performing arts center would not require any subsidy from the city or residents. The condos, townhouses and single family homes would be built privately by developers, just like the housing at the Route 59 station. They would have their own dedicated parking.

What is the website?


Here's the web site....the ground breaking is in a couple weeks.

Is this happening?

@Bubo on December 2, 2008 12:01 PM

I wish I was rich enough to finance such a project as your proposed parking deck with first floor commercial space. Sounds like an amazing money maker for anyone involved, I can't even imagine the turnover of a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts in such a location.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Train station commuter parking lots?

Do you think they will sell out, and if so, how quickly? Yes, depending on the distance of the walk.



Why build needed parking lots at the train stations that will pay for themselves; when you can lose money subsidizing the gin mill and property owners in the Downtown while ruining one of the Crown Jewels of the City?

All of the indoor parking spaces at a train station/s parking deck/s could be pre-sold with resellable five year leases to finance the project. The Royal Albert was financed this way.

Access to the garages could be controlled with the use of simple inexpensive bar code stickers on a car window. Garages could be inspected and gates locked by the NPD at night to minimize any problems.

The ground floor facing the station (at Rt 59) could be rented to various commuter related service retailers like: restaurants, shoe repair, dry cleaners, car rental, greyhound bus station, airport bus station, police sub-station, pharmacy, taxi stand, local commuter bus station etc.. All of the retail space could be leased before construction.

If you wanted to go higher, two or three upper floors could probably be built out as office space and rented or at Rt 59 build a separate office tower.

Could the (new) train station/s be incorporated into the deck and retail area so the commuters would not be left out in the cold or rain to get from the car to the train?

How much would it cost to build an automobile only tunnel under the Rt 59 rail road connecting the two parking areas (N & S)?

Would the commercial property owners north of the Burlington line at Rt59 be interested in selling out (at a good profit) to a large scale commercial property development? A development here could easily go 8 to 10 stories (or more) tall and include five or six city blocks of office, residential condos, and mixed retail all connected by private, heated, overhead-walkways to each other and the train stations. Close to golf course, shopping, highway and walk to trains, sounds like an easy sell.

If the City wants to go high-density, it should stop attempting to ruin the single family neighborhoods by allowing developers to cram R2 and R3 down the neighbor’s throats and instead develop isolated areas that are suitable for high density like the Rt 59 station area.

Hopefully it won't be more multistory wooden-tinder-boxes that save the developer 20-30% on construction costs and require every one else to pay for more fire stations.

Resident who live near the Downtown station formerly rented their driveways to commuters who would park at these houses and walk to the station. The city cracked down on this and drove the commuters out of the driveways. This helped the residents to pay the ever increasing tax bills and provided spaces at no cost to the city for commuters.

So, if I buy one of these spots, will I have to pay property taxes on it as well?

I live in Naperville and park my car on South side (Aurora) of Route 59 station. Current monthly Parking wait time for that lot is 7 - 8 Years.

I don't mind parking on North side, but to pass Route 69 train overpass from south, it will take another 15 min.

Maybe the city leaders will wake up when they see that it’s not on Money’s list anymore because people have written in that Naperville has dropped the ball on the commuter parking issue and can’t come up with even the simplest solutions that other exurbs across the country have figured out for themselves.


City leaders will not wake up. Money dropped them from 3rd best to 29th best in one single year. Maybe they read this blog site and are hearing what people like you and the Napergatians are saying.

I agree with you that Naperville has let you and commuters down. They want to build a parking deck by the library that no one wants but won't do anything for the engine of downtown workers that fuel our econonmy as you stated.

Bloggers were 100-1 against a library parking deck. Money Magazine must have seen that thread. But not our city officials, I guess!

This is just a shining example of what happens when a city ignores its commuters – its life-blood.

Now it’s going to sit idly as residents get burned for black-market parking spots.

Just as Naperville sits idly as its commuter parking lots carry multi-year waiting lists. (2 years at Route 59; up to 9 years downtown.)

Just as Naperville sits idly as those lots that are blocked off by waiting lists carry dozens of EMPTY parking spaces every weekday.

Just as Naperville sits idly and refuses to regulate the Route 59 and Downtown lots with rules and supervision that will eliminate permit-hoarding and give parking priority back to daily Naperville commuters.

Just as Naperville sits idly after raising parking permit prices? (What, exactly, did we get in return?)

Just as Naperville sits idly after residents complain for years about the faulty machines at the Route 59 station.

Just as Naperville sits idly and refuses to discuss partial funding with Metra for a commuter parking-deck solution.

Just as Naperville sits idly and lets the costs for these commuter parking-deck solutions soar with each passing day.

Just as Naperville sits idly after proclaiming that Rark-and-Rides are the answer. (Park-and-rides?? Who wants to add yet another commute-within-a-commute to their day???)

Fred, you’d have to be a fool to buy one of these spots.

But you’d also have to be a fool to dismiss the Naperville residents who commute daily from here to Chicago.

Who do you think is pumping in all of the cash for all the bells and whistles inside this 140,000-person monstrosity? Who do think is paying for the luxurious subdivisions and the infinite number of parks and the five high schools and the three libraries and the constant upkeep of the Riverwalk? Who do you think is shopping downtown or at the Whole Foods or at the Cosco?

Who do you think is paying for that coveted Money Magazine Best Places to Live ranking?

Who do you think is keeping Naperville's engine running during this shaky economic period?

It’s not the executives making $150K+, who commute into Chicago?


Because I was under the impression that before the top-earners arrived here in the ’90s, Naperville was a sleepy cow town that resembled nothing of the city we’re all so proud of today – the city that wins all of these quality-of-life awards.

You don’t think the city needs to snap out of its fog and finally build the parking decks its commuters are begging for? Really?

Maybe the city leaders will wake up when they see that it’s not on Money’s list anymore because people have written in that Naperville has dropped the ball on the commuter parking issue and can’t come up with even the simplest solutions that other exurbs across the country have figured out for themselves.

Maybe the city leaders – the people who DO NOT commute from Naperville to Chicago – will eventually realize this is a quality-of-life issue they’re screwing up.

To Fred: You might be the first one to invest until you realize that the spots are at the BACK of the lot, not really any closer than the available pay-by-the-day spots, and a good 5 minute walk from being able to board an inbound train to Chicago. And let me tell you that 5 minute walk is none too pleasant on a day like today. These spots are NOT in a primo location.

Also, since we're talking about municipal fiscal responsibility here, I just heard that IPSD District 204 has quietly increased their budget for non debt items by an additional 10%?!?! Given that the District's tax base has almost certainly contracted and given that housing units have come in WAY below projections, how in the world can that be acceptable?

We are ALL scraping and scrapping right now. Trying to get by in what many are calling a near-depression environment. People are losing their jobs, companies are going out of business, home values are falling. How does the rest of the world deal with it? They tighten their belt and CUT THEIR DOGGONE SPENDING. That's how. Is D204 nuts? I realize the incumbent board members already face a very dubious proposition of getting re-relected next time around, so maybe they just don't give a darn. But this IS RIDICULOUS. I want accountability here. I am tired of being treated like a MORON by them.

Oh by the way, D204 enrollment projections are now topping off around 8800 as compared to the BOGUS 10,400 numbers which were used to sell the naive masses on the supposed urgent need for the 3rd high school.

Do not follow the leadership of this school district. Their interests are not aligned with the rest of us, for whatever reason.

Ben, I don't think anyone forced you or anyone else that commutes to live in Naperville. Many chose to live close to their work as not to have to deal with parking fees and train fares.

Secondly, Naperville doesn't have anything to do with this new venture, it hasn't even been approved yet. If it is, I bet the developers will have no problem selling the spaces. There are people who live here that can afford the luxury of a personal parking spot. I know if I chose to work in Chicago and chose to ride Metra, I surely would be one of the first to invest in a parking spot.

Once again like above it will be the scalpers that buy these looking for a quick buck. The honest working city man will get screwed trying to get to work and back. Good job Naperville!

$2 a day 5 days a week = $10 a week

$10 a week * 52 weeks =$520 a year

$8900 cost of a private parking space

That is 17 years of parking.

If you you get 5 days off for holidays and two weeks vacation then it is 18 years of parking.

Of course, you can resell the space but you have to find someone willing to spend the cost for 17 years of parking.

I'm looking at buying 10 of those spots as an investment. I'd rent them out at a little more than the Metra lot right now for the cash flow. At some point I'd start flipping them for the profit. If I had more cash I would be buying even more! It's like printing your own money!

Depending on how the deal is structured and whether or not you can resell your parking rights this could turn out to be a remarkable investment as long as the city chooses to ignore the parking situation at area metra stations.

Since the city prefers to build bell towers and extraneous parking garages for downtown businesses instead of lending a helping hand to the commuters who need to go to the city to earn the wages required to pay the ridiculous Naperville property taxes... these spaces will have insane demand, and should be flippable for a healthy margin in the event that you don't need to commute via train anymore!

Quite honestly I'm surprised the developer isn't doing more with the property. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they could finance an entire parking garage instead of a simple lot with this same business plan.

Perhaps when the city sees that there's money to be made in selling parking spots they will stop ignoring the problem? Unlikely, I know, with the long list of pork projects which come before the needs of the taxpayers... but even a broken clock is right twice a day and stranger things have happened.

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on November 26, 2008 4:00 AM.

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