Due to ongoing demand for parking by both employees and customers, the Village of Palatine approved a plan to create and add permanent parking spaces for Mariano’s Fresh Market in Palatine.
Grocery store employees can now park behind Mariano’s on the east of the building, on the emergency access drive.
While the signs posted still read “Emergency Vehicles Only,” the Village Council approved the addition of 10 employee parking spots Monday night.
Behind the Mariano’s building at 545 N. Hicks Road, the emergency access drive runs from the back parking lot of Palatine Police Headquarters to Baldwin Road.
To add 10 parallel spaces for employee parking, the emergency access drive has been turned into a one-way, prohibiting traffic to flow south (away from Police Headquarters) and eliminating the drive as a possible exit point for officers.
“There is still ample room for the police to go through,” Deputy Village Manager, Mike Jacobs said, “It will not preclude police from using it as originally intended.”
Before Village Council Members cast their votes Monday night, Palatine had Mariano’s do test run of the proposed changes. To see what, if any, negative impacts the modifictions would create, the Village allowed Mariano’s to temporarily restrict the emergency access drive to a one-way and add the 10 parallel parking spaces in Mid-August. Since then, Councilman Greg Solberg said the Village has not seen a negative impact and the council unanimously voted to make the temporary changes permanent Monday night.
“It’s 1,000 percent better than what it was in May,” said Solberg, “Mariano’s has made substantial improvements.”
With 10 new spaces dedicated to employee parking, the Village also approved Mariano’s request to permanently reconfigure a vacant outlot to add spaces for both employees and patrons.
In February, less than a month after the popular grocery store opened, Mariano’s obtained additional off-site parking to accommodate all of its newfound customers.
A year after opening Mariano’s was supposed to give up the outlot if another business was interested in moving into the small commercial building. But with business still booming at the grocery store and the outlot still vacant, Mariano’s reached an agreement with the property owner to permanently use the 20 space lot for parking.
In order to add 10 more spaces to that outlot the Village approved Mariano’s reconfiguration plans to remove the building pad which blocks off part of the site Monday night.
“The reason we’re doing this is to try to get parking off Baldwin Road to improve both the safety and aesthetics out there,” Solberg said.
In total, Mariano’s increased its parking lot by 40 spaces, 30 of those spots will be available to both employees and customers with 10 spaces dedicated to only employees, located behind the store building.
Councilman Solberg will hold a public meeting at Palatine Police Headquarters to address any concerns or questions people may have on at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25.