McHenry looking at RiverWalk Center parking solutions

City officials are working on short-term and long-term solutions to solve parking issues in the Green Street Business District.
Adequate parking has been a concern with the RiverWalk Center development. The short-term solutions proposed by the city have been enough to alleviate concerns of Buddyz Chicago Pizzeria.

City Administrator Douglas Maxeiner would not disclose details Monday of the long-term plans the city is considering.

This is a work in progress, Maxeiner said. We will take what is given to us, adjust on the fly, and make sure we address the parking needs. We need to have our eyes on the prize of what the end result will be and make sure we have adequate long-term parking.

The city has asked for 60 spots at McHenry Villa and for spots at the old city hall site. Discussions on those proposed leases are ongoing, and costs for the lease would be paid for by RiverWalk Center developer John Curtis, Maxeiner said.

If a deal with McHenry Villa can be reached, that space most likely would be used for employee parking for the RiverWalk Center. Both leases would be perpetual, but both parties would be able to cancel with a 60-day notice.

Were still in talks with that ... but we hope to have that wrapped up quickly, Maxeiner said.

There are about 500 private and public parking spots in the Green Street business district.

The city plans to stripe 24 available spots on Waukegan Road that already exist but arent clearly marked.

Alderman Victor Santi is concerned that Buddyz plans to move forward without guarantees that the parking situation has been solved.

Weve given him assurance, but theres been no agreement ... as regards to the parking, Santi said. Were putting him into a spot, where he could get this business going, ... [and] theres a definite possibility of parking being pulled from underneath him, because it may not be available in a year or two. ... What happens two or three years down the line?

Joe Scarnato, co-owner of Buddyz, said he was comfortable with the citys plans. He said parking concerns at any location was nothing new.

We felt it was worth the risk, Scarnato said. Theres something to be said for having people walk a block. If we could create an atmosphere thats worth it to them to take that walk, its going to be good for everybody. ... If were that busy and worried about parking, I would take that everyday of the week.
City of McHenry
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