Glen Ellyn plans pathway to link new parking garage to Main Street

Glen Ellyn trustees Monday could pave the way for a pedestrian corridor connecting a parking garage now under construction downtown with businesses on Main Street.

The pedestrian pathway and a proposed outdoor seating area are some of the key elements in a project to create a campuslike setting around the Civic Center amid downtown revitalization efforts.

The five-level parking garage is taking shape behind the Civic Center and remains on schedule to be complete in May. With the pedestrian walkway, downtown shoppers and restaurant patrons will have full access to the garage from both Duane and Main streets.

The project so far has included construction of the 277-stall parking deck, utility relocation, property acquisitions and preparations for the pedestrian pathway.

The total cost of the project is about $17.5 million, including roughly $16.7 million for the construction of the garage, the pathway and plaza area.

The village bought and demolished the vacant Shonkwiler real estate offices and a residential building to make way for the passage.

Designs show it won’t look like an ordinary stretch of pavement.

Village planners describe the space from the garage to Main Street as an amenity with room for public artwork, seat-wall planters and, potentially, outdoor dining.

Brick installed in an intricate herringbone pattern for walking areas would match materials proposed for a major downtown streetscape project.

Wall-mounted sconces and in-ground lighting would illuminate the pathway leading to the parking garage’s west tower.

Village planners also see the opportunity for a mural on one side of the corridor, the south exterior wall of the former Katy’s Boutique. The village board would get final say on a mural in a separate approval process.

Facade improvements also are planned for the north brick wall of the building housing the Sushi Ukai restaurant.

Last week, plan commission members voted unanimously in favor of zoning approvals to allow for construction of the Civic Center pathway as part of the project’s second phase. Costs are estimated at roughly $650,000.

Commission members also recommended that, as a condition of approval, the village secure all temporary construction and perpetual easements on private property before issuing any building permits.

Officials have held easement discussions with two property owners. The property containing Katy’s and the fire + wine restaurant is owned by one entity, while the Sushi Ukai building is owned by another.

“It appears based on the verbal conversations that we have agreement on the major terms under which those agreements will be signed,” Community Development Director Staci Springer told the plan commission.

M.A. Mortenson Co., the firm leading the construction of the parking garage, is requesting the zoning approvals on behalf of the village.

Trustees will consider the request during a virtual board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. If granted, the pathway work also would be complete this spring.