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.