Enterprise Rent-A-Car seeks OK from King and 4th Ward residents for zoning variance move to into VUE 53

Ke’Shon Newman checks out the business card he received from Jonathan Lamar, Area Rental Manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, after asking about internships with the company during the 4th Ward Meeting. (Photo by Marc Monaghan)

Staff writer

At the invitation of Ald. Sophia King (4th), representatives from Enterprise Rent-A-Car laid out to 4th Ward residents their plan to relocate from 5508 S. Lake Park Ave. to Vue53, 1330 E. 53rd St.

On Wednesday evening, about 15 residents from the neighborhood came to the United Church of Hyde Park, 1448 E. 53rd St., to hear Enterprise explain why Vue53 was a better location to conduct business.

Enterprise has been operating at its current location for around 20 years. Currently, Enterprise uses 25 to 30 parking spaces. At peak hours on Monday and Tuesday, they have 5 to 8 rental cars leaving or coming within an hour. There are six employees who work at the office.

The new location will allow them to reach more customers and provide them with access to better air quality. Jonathan Lamar, area rental manager, said: “This is a much better place for us to wash cars at. If you’ve been to our Hyde Park location on 55th right now, we’re in a basement with no open air. So, my guys are used to bringing the cars down, turning the cars off immediately, cleaning it up and coming right back up.”

The proposed location at Vue53 will be on the 3rd floor of the parking garage. Enterprise’s office will also be inside of the garage similar to their location at 20 E. Randolph St. The lease for the new space will allow customers access to public bathrooms in the apartment building.

The main reason for the meeting was to get the community to approve the new move. Without support from the community and King, Enterprise will be unable to procure the zoning variance required to move into Vue53. The property currently has a “planned development” zoning classification, which limits what can be done in the building.

“A planned development is an ordinance that stands alone that says ‘Here are the uses you can do at this property. Here is what your building must look like. Here are some other considerations.’ The rules are very specific about what can happen at that property,” explained Enterprise’s lawyer, Amy Kurson, a partner at Reyes Kurson.

“What we’re asking is that Ald. King to say ‘yes, this can go to the plan commission.’ ‘Yes, this is OK with me and my community for Enterprise to lease cars from this property.’ We think it is appropriate for the location. We don’t think it is controversial. Just so there is daylight on everything; these kinds of matters are public, which is why we are here, ” said Kurson.