Downtown parking options, recommendations

A four-story, 507-space parking deck, estimated to cost $10.3 million, will be the option pursued for Lot B. It will be a while, however, until it’s built.

A downtown parking assessment commissioned by the Parking Authority presented five options for a parking garage on the Lot B site, ranging in size from 334 spaces to 507 spaces. Four of the five options were four stories high, only one was three stories and all of the options included some ground-floor retail. Tim Haahs and Associates recommended two of the five options as most efficient and economical: Option 2, which cost $8.6 million to build 393 spaces, and Option 3, which cost $10.3 million for a 507-space deck. Both had the least expensive per-space cost among the five.

By all indications, The Savoy will move forward, Parking Authority Chairman Matt Dobrowloski said, and whoever eventually does The Westbury project, there will still be a need for parking to compliment any structure and parking needs. “We must plan smart and not plan just minimal and then regret we are lacking. Growth will eventually happen and so will need,” he said. There is no timeline, however, for construction of a new parking deck as the authority is purusing land acquisition and funding sources. City Administrator Peter Pelissier has said funding would likely come from some combination of parking authority, city and/or developer fees.

Rates would be $100 monthly, $3 for up to two hours, and a flat $5 for events. The report estimates that commuters would purchase 165 permits by the 10th year of the deck, and other estimates on the number of monthly permits purchased by residents and retail at The Westbury and The Savoy.

Among the nine recommendations by Haahs were:

  • Installation of parking meters along Main Street from Poplar to Emerson and other on-street parking areas to promote turnover and better manage vehicles abusing time limits.
  • Consider increasing rates directly adjacent to the train station as the current $5 per day is regularly filled, indicating market demand.