Amended Parking Lot J plans finalized

By Angelica Lavito

Revised construction plans for Parking Lot J were finalized at Tuesday’s Champaign City Council meeting.

The council voted unanimously to amend the original plans to decrease the size of the project, as well as allow the city manager to enter into the amended development agreement.

The city agreed to sell Lot J to JSM Development for $3.94 million. Initial plans called for two 12-story buildings that housed a parking garage, hotel, retail space and apartments. 

After estimating the construction costs and determining the initial plan would cost $19 million more than expected, JSM proposed to scale back the project.

“There were a number of things that arose through that process as we look back in hindsight that we think probably contributed to the cost overage that we experienced,” JSM architect Scott Kunkel said at the study session in December.

The ordinances passed on Tuesday set requirements for JSM and Campus Center, LLC, Lot J’s new owner, to meet. During construction, the developer must provide a marketing plan that includes at least 90 short-term parking spaces within 600 feet of Parking Lot J.

“This is, for me, the most convenient if I need to go to Green Street,” said Andrea Berry, graduate student. “So I really don’t know (where else to park), I might have to look into other spots.”

The developer also agreed to provide at least 131 public parking spaces on the lowest levels of the parking garage. The spaces must be available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Parking Lot J currently contains 131 public parking spaces. Of them, 86 are meter parking spaces, 37 are permit parking, five are handicapped parking and three are reserved spaces.

Campus Center, LLC, must provide lighting in the parking garage that will minimize disruption to adjacent properties.

The owner must relocate the bicycle repair station that is currently located at the Boneyard Greenway to a location on the ground floor of the parking garage. Also, they must provide at least 10 bicycle parking spaces on the ground floor of the parking garage that are accessible to the public.

Construction is expected to begin May 1 of this year and to be completed by Aug. 31, 2015.

Angelica can be reached at [email protected]