WEST LOOP — Plans for a 502-car parking garage in the West Loop moved one step closer to realization after they were approved by the Plan Commission on Thursday.
The Chicago Journeyman Plumber Local 130 is seeking to convert a surface parking lot on the union’s property at 1340 W. Washington Blvd. into a seven-story parking structure, which will also have over 14,000 square feet of retail space.
The parking structure would be built mid-block of Washington Boulevard, as the union is leaving space along Ada Street available for future development, representatives for the union said Thursday.
“Why a parking garage? It’s purely out of need. We feel that is of great benefit to the community,” said Michael Fitzgerald of OKW Architects, who designed the structure.
In an October community meeting, Fitzgerald said the parking garage would be used by union members and would be open to the public.
With development sweeping through the West Loop, neighbors have long called for projects to include onsite parking.
Renderings show a modern take on a parking garage, but some plan commission members said the structure’s height and design may be too visible to the public, and therefore be an eyesore in a rapidly changing part of the city.
“I’m concerned we are reinforcing a trend of mediocre approach” to parking garage development,” Commissioner Andre Brumfield said. “We know they are needed. We need to raise the bar in terms of quality.”
If approved by the full City Council, the union looks to start construction in the spring and open the following year.