Lot J on campus to close April 16

Lot J on campus to close April 16

CHAMPAIGN — A major campus parking lot will close next week as crews prepare to break ground on a six-story hotel and apartment complex just off Green Street.

Parking Lot J, at the corner of Healey and Sixth streets, will shut down April 16 in advance of JSM Development's May 1 groundbreaking on the new building. Drivers will have to find other places to park for more than a year, as construction is expected to be finished next summer.

The new building will include a 131-space public parking garage, matching the number of public spaces available in Lot J right now.

In the meantime, city officials are directing people to other public parking areas — at 503 E. Healey Street, 508 E. Healey and the northeast corner of Springfield Avenue and Sixth Street.

Metered parking is also available along city streets and in university parking lots A9 (at the southeast corner of Sixth and Healey) and C3 (near the southeast corner of Sixth and John streets). A map of alternate parking locations is available at champaigncenter.com.

"With any sort of construction project, there will of course be some inconvenience to folks, and that is unfortunate," said Lorrie Pearson, the city's land development manager.

However, she said city officials are excited about the development. The finished product will occupy completely what is now a surface parking lot and include ground-floor retail space and a Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel.

As far as street closures, Pearson said she is expecting "nothing major" beyond temporary lane closures like the city has done for other Green Street projects under way. As a general rule, Green Street will remain open.

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Robert DeAtley wrote on April 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

The parking lot at the northeast corner of Springfield Avenue and Sixth Street is a private parking lot.

Patrick Wade wrote on April 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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You are correct. JSM Development owns the private lots to which people are being directed. JSM also is the developer of the Lot J complex.

Part of the company's agreement with the city is that JSM will provide alternative public parking during construction. So, by contract, a portion of JSM's private parking will be made available to the general public. City parking signs will be posted soon.

My apologies for not including this bit of detail, and thanks for your comment.