By population, Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States. By land area, Chicago is the third largest city in the world. Its large population spread over a huge mass of land influences the need for efficient transportation to navigate the city. Couple this with the fact that Chicago is a major transport hub for the entire Midwest and one is left with the impression that there is a need for all of those cars to have a place to park.
Despite the increase in ride-hailing services and better planned public transportation, there is still a need for parking garages. The parking garages of today and of the future are different than those of the past. Some are structures with adaptability to see additions as growth demands it. Some are green certified with space on the roof for gardens. Some are art, blending into their surroundings or standing out in unique ways. Of course, all of them still hold spaces for cars and the design requirements for that alone requires architectural and building prowess. After considering several firms that the city has to offer, this list narrows it down to the top six parking garage contractors in Chicago.
Power Construction Company
8750 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste 500, Chicago, IL 60631
Founded in 1926, Power Construction Company is a general construction company specializing in residential, healthcare, hospitality, office, institutional and industrial projects within the Chicago area and northern Illinois. Crain’s Chicago has ranked the firm as the Largest General Contractors in Chicago, considering the company’s annual revenue of $1 billion and professional staff of 270, not to mention a workload where more than 90% of which comes from repeat clients. Power’s projects have also garnered some awards, including the R+D Award and the Modern Healthcare Gold Award.
Power was responsible for building the parking garage of the Rush University Medical Center at 512 South Paulina Street. The structure stands 7 levels tall and has a gross building area of 270,000 square feet. A covered walkway connects the garage to the hospital itself at 1620 West Harrison Street. More recently, the firm has been commissioned to build the garage expansion at Chicago’s Midway Airport.
35 E Wacker Dr., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601
Clayco is a full-service turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm headquartered in Chicago with offices in St. Louis, Atlanta, and Greenville, SC. The company has a portfolio across the country that includes 350 iconic and complex projects, 190,000,000 square feet of new construction, and 70,000,000 square feet of renovation. Clayco’s more than 2,000 employees across the country has allowed the firm to earn more than $2.6 billion in revenue for 2018 alone. Among its many accolades, Clayco is a top 50 company on Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors list.
Clayco built the parking garage for the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Center for Care and Discovery at 5700 South Maryland Avenue. The garage is connected to the medical center by a pedestrian bridge. The design of this 872,300 square-foot facility is such that it “allows the building’s significant mass to respond to the grander campus scale while also engaging the pedestrian community of students, residents, medical staff, and patients.” Built with the future in mind, the firm built a portion of the garage to be strong enough to have offices built above it giving the medical center the ability to grow without needing more of a land footprint to do so. This garage project was also registered with the Green Building Institute’s Green Globe Program.
210 N. Carpenter St., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60607
Leopardo Companies is a Hoffman Estates-based general contractor with a national reach and specializing in healthcare, interiors, retail, hospitality, office, industrial, residential and municipal market projects. The company was founded by James A. Leopardo in 1977. Mike Leopardo, his brother, is currently serving as CEO and president. Leopardo has a portfolio of more than 75 million square feet in completed construction valued at over $6.5 billion. It also has a staff of more than 450 industry professionals and completes over 400 projects each year. The firm has received more than 500 industry awards and recognition, including eight contractor of the year awards, 15 project of the year awards and 10 safety awards.
Leopardo’s portfolio has more than 40 stories and 4,000 stalls of parking. Their parking garage project at 41 East 8th Street is among the largest the firm has done within the city proper. The 450-stall, 6-story poured-in-place underground concrete parking structure sits below a 36-story luxury high-rise tower of condominiums and retail space.
James McHugh Construction Co
1737 S Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60616
Since 1897, James McHugh Construction Co. has been building some of the most complex and iconic buildings and infrastructure in Chicago and the Midwest, including Marina City, Aqua Tower, Blackstone Hotel, Trump Tower, and Navy Pier Centennial Wheel. Currently led by Chairman Patty McHugh and President Dave Alexander, the firm has received numerous accolades including the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, American Architecture Awards, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Grand Award, the AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award, and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland Award of Merit.
McHugh built a parking structure for the University of Chicago at 6054 South Drexel Avenue. The 9-level, 300,000 square-foot facility can accommodate up to 1,010 cars, and is aimed to alleviate the similar, existing facility near the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital at 5721 South Maryland Avenue. The architecture of the structure was designed to maximize space and fit well with the surrounding neighborhood.
30 S Wacker Dr., 24th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606
From its origin and headquarters in Sydney, Australia, Lendlease has become a 12,740-staffed global real estate investment, development, and general contracting company with operations and offices all over Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Dutch immigrant and innovator Dick Dusseldorp formed the company in 1958 with “a vision to create a company that could successfully combine the disciplines of construction, development and investment.” Aside from the accolades the company has gained outside Chicago, Lendlease has been honored with the 3 Star Fitwell Rating and the Energy STAR Leadership in Housing Award.
Lendlease’s Greenway Self-Park at 60 West Kinzie Street is the first green parking garage in the entire city. A naturally ventilated, glazed screen facade and an array of vertical turbines at the southwest corner of the garage are the major green features installed in the structure.
929 W Adams St., Chicago, IL 60607
Walsh Group is a Chicago-based and headquartered, family-owned design-build firm that began as a small carpentry business in 1898. Four generations of Walsh family members later and the firm is operating out of 18 regional offices across North America, employing more than 8,000 skilled tradespeople and professional staff. The firm has won a laundry list of awards, including the ACEC New York Platinum Engineering Award, the Women in Construction Award, the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) National Award of Merit, the Envision Platinum Sustainability Award, the DBIA National Award of Excellence, and the Brick in Architecture Award.
At 1135 South Delano Court, Walsh constructed the parking garage for the Roosevelt Collection Lofts. Aside from the three levels of parking, the 1.6 million square-foot facility includes 342 condominium lofts, 50 retail and restaurant spaces, a 16-screen theater, and a two-acre public park. Elsewhere in the city, Walsh built the Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CRCF) at the Midway International Airport a four-story, 1,870-space, 36,000 square-foot quick turnaround garage facility.