Holly Court Parking Garage might receive a makeover

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Parts of Holly Court Parking Garage might be reused for a commercial real estate development that will include retail and entertainment options. The village is considering this possibility after allowing developer Centrum Partners to review two floors of the garage totaling 40,000 square feet at the Jan. 19 board meeting.

There are currently three parking garages in downtown Oak Park with a fourth in construction. The village estimates that 1,460 new parking spaces will become available within the next few years, according to a story reported by the Tribune. Due to these plans, the village feels comfortable with Centrum Partners intention to review how two stories of Holly Court can be reused for more retail in downtown Oak Park.

“They have a period of time to come back and give us the actual proposal,” Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said in an interview with the Tribune. “The village is under no obligation to accept the final product. They have to come back and present something and it will be a really public review.”

One potential speedbump in reconstruction comes in the material that makes up Holly Court. The garage is made of “post tension concrete” which is “more difficult to modify than other structure types,” according to Centrum Partners.

“They want to look at how does the garage work with doing that and what it would cost them,” Pavlicek said in an interview with the Tribune. “I think they didn’t want to spend a lot of money on their end — really evaluating the viability of what they envision and what they think they can do — unless the village would be willing to sell them that space. If they come back with a viable project, we think that’s definitely something we can work together on.”

If both sides reach a consensus, construction can begin in the spring of 2017, according to the Tribune.

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