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Free parking at Sherman Plaza in June

The Sherman Plaza garage opens to the public June 1 with free parking for the first month.

City officials say they hope the free parking offer will help residents and visitors become acquainted with the new parking facility.

The Sherman Plaza garage opens to the public June 1 with free parking for the first month.

City officials say they hope the free parking offer will help residents and visitors become acquainted with the new parking facility.

Complementary parking will continue through midnight July 4 for the holiday.

The city’s facililties director, Max Rubin, says parkers should initially use the Davis Street entrance. Construction work continues, and the Benson Street entrance will open in the middle of June.

The new $42 million self-park facility, built by W.E. O’Neil, provides Evanston with 1,583 new parking spaces, of which 303 are reserved for Sherman Plaza condominium residents. Overall, Evanston will have 680 more public spaces than the old Sherman Avenue Garage provided.

Designed by Daniel P. Coffey & Associates Architectural Services, the new facility features 12 stories of post-tension concrete construction with six elevators: three are glass-backed, providing passengers with scenic rides. Three elevators are currently operational; the elevators located on the Sherman Avenue side of the facility will become operational later this summer when the retail component of the project opens.

The garage is equipped with 24/7 security, cameras and emergency alarms. The floors are identified by signs showing Evanston landmarks. A White Hen Pantry will be located on the first floor on the corner of Benson Avenue and Davis Street.

The new facility replaces the 35-year old Sherman Avenue Parking Garage that was determined to be structurally unsound in May 2004 and was closed. Demolition began in August 2004.

The other projects included in Sherman Plaza, a Focus Development, are residences and retail space.

The lower level of the condominiums and the retail stores are scheduled to open August 1.

The residences include 253 condominiums, lofts and penthouses located in a 25-story condominium tower. Sherman Plaza also provides a 24-hour doorman, health club, rooftop garden and secure parking at the Sherman Self-Park.

The retail space offers 152,000 square feet of shopping on two floors.

Six stores will open in August: Barnes and Noble, Ann Taylor Loft, Cereality, Red Door Spa, LA Fitness, Pier 1 and Washington Mutual.

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