Top 100: Standard Parking
|Nobody likes paying for parking. Standard Parking CEO Jim Wilhelm says that doesn't mean a parking vendor has to make the experience of forking over $30 to hang in the Loop more unpleasant than it has to be.|
Standard Parking started in 1929 when the owner of a downtown Standard Oil station started renting out space in his lot and ended up making more from that than selling gas. Jim tells us he joined the family owned company in 1985 after having worked with them on the last O'Hare expansion plan, where he reorganized a grossly inefficient parking system. Under his tenure, the company expanded from fewer than 30 garages in Chicago to 2,200 nationwide.
Jim predicts recent parking meter increases may drive parkers off the streets and into garages. He's also looking forward to supporting green auto development by offering plug-in stations at his garages.
Standard has lots at many area landmarks: Water Tower Place, US Cellular Field, and the United Center (and no, there's not going to be a parking deck by Wrigley anytime soon). Standard even has its own university for employees, from sales to parking lot attendants, ensuring goals are met for cleanliness and friendliness.