The car rental company Hertz is negotiating to move its Evanston location from the west side into the new Sherman Plaza complex downtown.

Barry Millman of Horizon Realty Services, an agent for Hertz, told the city’s Parking Committee last week that the company has reached agreement with the owners of the retail space at Sherman Plaza to rent an office on the Benson Avenue side of the building, facing the downtown transportation center.

Hertz also wants to lease space to park its cars in the city-owned Sherman Plaza garage.

City staffers have identified a 14-space area on the second floor of the garage, beyond the bicycle parking area, that is set off from the rest of the garage and that Millman said would be “marvelous” for Hertz’s use.

Parking Committee members debated whether to charge Hertz more than the standard $80 per space per month rental fee for the spaces, but after being reminded that they’ve charged three other car rental companies the standard rate at various city garages, they decided to not press for a higher rate.

They told Public Works Director David Jennings to negotiate a contract that would provide for rate increases as the standard parking rate rises. Hertz has proposed a five year agreement with a five year renewal option.

Mellman said that until several years ago Hertz had its Evanston office in the Orrington Hotel, but was unable to negotiate a new lease after a hotel renovation project.

For the past five years Hertz has operated from a site at 1326 Dodge Ave., which Mellman said is sometimes difficult for customers to find. With the recent opening of a Enterprise car rental location in the city’s Maple Avenue garage, he said, Hertz is eager to move back to the downtown area.

Jennings said the rental cars would be washed in the enclosed Sherman Plaza loading dock area beneath the garage and that parking would not be permitted on Benson, with customers directed to a loading zone on the Davis Street side of the building instead.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Good deal?
    This looks like a very good deal for the Hertz. The taxpayers are getting $80 a space – what would it cost to rent that much space from a private owner? Plus we are not even getting the property tax. Ofcourse we are getting a tax on the rental.
    Appears we have repeated this deal with every car rental company.

    This makes we wonder if the city is actually recovering the cost of the building of Sherman ave garage through the rents and fees or if the TIF is really underwriting it?

    It appears to me the city can never come away with a good deal for the taxpayers – wait to January when the start talking about our 15% to 20% property tax increase

    1. Sales Tax
      Sales tax, Junad – the return is sales tax. All those rentals generate sales tax for the city. Really, your reflexive, ill-informed, naysaying is tiresome.

      1. Anonymous poster –
        Maybe the city should develop retail space through Evanston and rent it on the cheap so we can get the sales tax revenue?

    2. $80/month seems reasonable.
      $80/month seems reasonable. When I drove to work here, before I moved here, I paid $78 to park in the Maple Ave. garage. So $80 is not outrageous, especially for a company renting multiple spaces. Of course, as Anonymous mentioned, Hertz will also generate some tax from the rentals, a few jobs, increased foot traffic downtown as people come here and maybe go shopping before picking up or after returning, and of course they are renting a currently empty storefront on Benson.

      Junad – you think $80 is too low? Is there a shortage of parking in the new garage? If there are spots there which are usually empty, and Hertz wants to pay $80/month to fill them, then I say let’s take their $80/month. If we have people willing to pay more, of course we should not rent to Hertz.

      { Anti-development whiners, answer this: If the Sherman Ave. Garage is full and $80 is too cheap, it means that the Sherman Ave. project is a sucess despite your whining. If the Sherman Ave. Garage has plenty of empty slots, it means that Hertz is paying $80/month for slots that nobody else wants, so you should stop your whining. Which is it? }

      Another benefit of Hertz moving in here is that it will make it easier for those of us who live downtown – including our future neighbors in the beautiful 49 story tower – to not own automobiles. We can take CTA/Metra to work, and then have easy access to rental cars ( igo,zip,Enterprise…and now Hertz!) on weekends or for special trips. Hertz is performing a public service.

      1. $80 is fair
        It also happens to be the going rate for city-owned garages:

        So, Hertz pays exactly the same rate as you, I or any other private citizen. But, in Junad’s eyes, thats a bad deal for taxpayers. Really, would it kill him to do just a little research before flying off the handle with his chicken-little rhetoric?

      2. To Zach and the other no name poster – take a look at —-
        To Zach and the no name poster – take a look at —- at the Maple garage
        the city is trying to rent a vacant retail space there – it has been vacant for seven years – they never finished it – there is no floor slab poured- very interesting – I pointed this out at the council about six months ago – they are now trying to rent it.

        The city appears to me to have lost thousands of dollars of the taxpayers money.
        Maybe you and the no name poster can go to the council and suggest the city rent out this space for $1 a year -( the city rent a mansion on the lake for that price) Do a little reseach on retail space and come up with your’e own numbers to see what the city has lost.

        I am no expert on rents – but what you as an individual pay and what you pay as a business usually are quite different. City of Evanston subsidizing people cost $, just remember that. (parking spaces,retail space or other public own space)

        If you assume a cost to build the space and sell it to a individual the analysis might be quite different. The other issue if too much space was built that has cost us alot of money – I would quess the cost to build a parking space would be $30,000 or more – thus alot of extra parking spaces are adding quite alot of $ to the capital cost the city is paying.

        I did post the fact we will get sale tax.

        Since both of you believe the developement here is paying off – why hasn’t it effected the increasing taxes – once a council member told me years ago that all the development here would eliminate the property taxes – It appears to me we are not even breaking even. I serious doubt the $80 a month is a break even cost!

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