Urban Fold

From Parking To Parks

The city of Chicago has leased four parking garages to generate more than $122 million for improvements to the city's parks.

"Money from leasing four publicly owned downtown parking garages will provide financing for about 100 neighborhood park-improvement projects, from new fieldhouses at five parks to new playgrounds at 50 others, Mayor Richard Daley announced Thursday."

"The $122 million for the projects also will help pay for what were described as major renovations for existing park facilities."

"The garage funds represent the bulk of Park District money available for construction projects during the next two years, according to the district's five-year capital improvement plan. The district typically is able to budget only about $35 million annually for such expenses, but will spend about $60 million in both 2007 and 2008."

"But as with other public agencies, what is needed still far exceeds the resources available, said parks General Supt. Timothy Mitchell."

Full Story: Garage leases to fuel park upgrades

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