Glen Ellyn plans to borrow $10 million for parking garage, streetscape projects

Updated 11/15/2018 8:23 PM
  • A proposed parking garage at the Civic Center parking lot in downtown Glen Ellyn could cost roughly $10 million to $15 million.

      A proposed parking garage at the Civic Center parking lot in downtown Glen Ellyn could cost roughly $10 million to $15 million. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer, December 2017

Glen Ellyn officials are preparing to borrow nearly $10 million next month to help fund construction of a parking garage behind the Civic Center along with downtown streetscape renovations and other big-ticket projects.

Trustees agreed to hire Robert W. Baird & Co as a financial adviser to assist with issuing the general obligations bonds and obtaining a credit rating for the financing. The board also approved a bond parameters ordinance outlining the process for taking out the 20-year loan in early December before the markets slow for the holidays.

Glen Ellyn has the highest bond rating -- AAA -- assigned by rating agencies. With that outlook, the village expects a 3.68 percent interest rate.

Principal and interest payments would cost roughly $715,000 a year, according to the most-recent estimate, Finance Director Christina Coyle said in an email.

A new food and beverage tax that will take effect in March could raise between $825,000 and $1.2 million annually to repay the bonds the village is issuing for capital projects downtown and elsewhere. The board passed the 1.5 percent dining tax in September.

The $10 million will primarily fund the construction of the Civic Center parking garage, ongoing Civic Center renovations, the downtown roadwork and streetscape project, and Roosevelt Road lane improvements at the Baker Hill shopping center. The ordinance approved by the board Monday also allows for using the bonds for property acquisition in case any would be needed as part of those projects.

Next spring, the village intends to issue more bonds to support the balance of the projects, but that cost won't be determined until officials have finalized a scope and budget for the new parking garage and streetscape work in the central business district -- both of which are in the design phase.

Coyle said officials determined it was prudent to issue bonds now because the feds are expected to continue to increase interest rates through 2019, which in turn would increase the cost of financing the projects.

"Issuing less than $10 million also allows us to issue bank-qualified bonds, which will increase competition for the bonds and hopefully decrease our interest cost," she said in the email.

Building a downtown parking garage on the Civic Center lot could cost roughly $10 million to $15 million. If the board proceeds with construction, the village could break ground in spring 2019, Village Manager Mark Franz said.

The structure would have four to five levels, Franz said, providing parking flexibility for commuters, village employees, patrons to a growing downtown restaurant scene and users of a new Civic Center tenant: Innovation DuPage. The College of DuPage center -- a combined business incubator and accelerator with coworking space -- is set to open in April.

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