Dispute over parking nears settlement

A series of property sales and lease-backs should settle a dispute over parking that will allow a new development to go forward.

The Parking Authority at its March 1 meeting passed a series of resolutions related to the purchase and lease back of a Bridge Street parcel as partial fulfillment of the terms of a settlement agreement with T & S Developers, the owner of Luciano’s Ristorante. Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Leonard Bier, who also serves as executive director of the Parking Authority, explained to commissioners at their March 2 meeting that a settlement is essentially agreed upon in principal.

Bridge Street

The Parking Authority will sell a Bridge Street parcel (Block 319, Lot 6) for $80,000 to Luciano’s, which will lease it back to the Parking Authority, which will issue a license to use the Bridge Street right of way as parking. City Council in February approved an ordinance to allow the Parking Authority to convey the Bridge Street parcel and use it as parking.

Kennedy Landscaping Monroe St
107 Monroe St.

The Parking Authority also approved a resolution to negotiate the purchase and/or condemnation of the Kennedy Landscaping property at 107 Monroe St. (Block 318, Lot 1). A replacement property for Kennedy Landscaping at 804 Leesville Ave. (Block 292, Lot 8) will be acquired from the Housing Authority for $110,000.

Luciano’s Ristorante had filed an objection to the two-building complex, Main and Monroe, a 208-unit development planned along Main Street. The five-story project would include the corner of Poplar Street, which Luciano’s has been using for valet parking since it opened in 2008. Owners of Luciano’s claimed that developers had agreed to work with them and the Parking Authority to identify alternate locations to accommodate parking that would be lost as a result of the development.

The Parking Authority also approved resolutions for contracts for underground storage tank removal and site remediation for the Monroe Street property as well as soliciting competitive quotations and contracts for demolition, site work and fencing for the Leesville Avenue property.