Customers at the planned downtown Evanston Target store will have exclusive access to some of the best parking spaces in the Sherman Plaza garage under a lease scheduled to be approve by aldermen tonight.

The lease calls for reserving 26 spaces on the east side of the third level of the 12-story garage — the spaces closest to the elevators providing direct access to the store — for Target customers.

The spaces would be marked with a one-hour time limit, and customers who observed that limit could, under the current garage parking fee schedule, park in the garage for free.

The city plans to make the spaces available at no charge to Target, but customers who spent longer than an hour in the garage would have to pay regular garage fees and would at least potentially be subject to the risk of getting a ticket.

With Target scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., the city could hypothetically lose as much as $151,840 in annual revenue — compared to having the 26 spaces filled by customers paying the $2 rate for two hours of parking.

But since the garage is hardly ever full, officials anticipate any revenue impact will actually be quite modest.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says, “Trips to Target will not exceed one hour in most cases regardless” of how long the parking time limit is.

“We want there to be easy in and easy out to support use of the store for those driving,” Bobkiewicz said, adding, “We plan to carefully monitor the spaces and have ability to reduce number dedicated for Target if not all are being used.”

Related story

Target to open in Sherman Plaza (5/18/17)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. 1st hour free?

    “With Target scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., the city could hypothetically lose as much as $151,840 in annual revenue — compared to having the 26 spaces filled by customers paying the $2 rate for two hours of parking.”  Bill you may want to double check, but this may be a nonstory here as your 1st hour is free in that parking lot right now.  I’m not sure how they would loss revenue then, maybe you could explain?

    1. Math

      Hi Joseph,

      If you park for 60 minutes or less you pay $0.

      If you park for 61 to 120 minutes you’re charged $2.

      That works out to a dollar an hour for the two-hour parkers. 26 spaces, times $1 an hour, times 16 hours a day that the store is open, times 365 days a year, is $151,840. That’s the maximum hypothetical revenue loss to the city.

      Obviously the actual cost will be less than the hypothetical maximum. How much less, we don’t have sufficient data to determine with any certainty.

      — Bill

      1. Bill, currently at this

        Bill, currently at this moment, your first hour is free in that parking lot.  So if I went today and parked for an hour or less, it would be free.  So again, please explain?

        1. Parking

          By restricting prime spaces to non-paying one-hour parkers you potentially displace longer-term, paying parkers from the garage.

          Understand now?

          — Bill


          1. No I don’t understand.  Maybe

            No I don’t understand.  Maybe you are missing the point that the city never has generated any revenue in that garage (in its history) for a car that has been parked there for an hour or less. You can’t lose what you never had.

            Maybe you should be making the argument that the city should change its policy about one hour parking in city garages, because it’s missing potential revenue.  That’s a whole different story and has nothing to do with Target.

  2. Not a big deal – City isn’t going to enforce!
    The lease says the city “will not manage or enforce the Parking Limit at the outset of this Lease” so feel free to park there.

    1. But …

      since you’ve read the lease, you should also understand that the laissez faire conditions may not continue if Target concludes non-customers are pirating its spaces.

      — Bill

    2. Target
      Again…another city pain-in-the-neck parking issue. I will shop on Howard st. for free….with plenty of spaces to choose from! The ongoing hassle to park in the downtown area isn’t worth the aggravation it causes.

  3. Elevator smell?
    Now that Target is moving in, are they going to do anything about the weed / BO smell that’s always in the elevators?

  4. I use this garage daily, and

    I use this garage daily, and it is already at capacity during peak hours. It can take 10 minutes to just leave the garage when others are trying to do so. Wonder how this will impact my daily life.

    1. How is it not full?

      I am an Evanston resident with a monthly parking pass for the garage for work.  It’s perhaps “technically” not full in that there are a handful of spaces open, but between the condo residents and the monthly parkers, I have to reach nearly the top level every morning to find a space.  And as noted, the backups to enter and leave the garage are growing, particularly with the new card readers they installed.  I can’t imagine people parking for this Target – I thought it was for the Northwestern students and all the car-free condo owners who are supposed to value public transit?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *