Temporary parking until deck is built

The Redevelopment Agency last week approved a memo of understanding with the Parking Authority and Dornoch to create temporary surface parking at the future site of The Westbury.

Dornoch and the Parking Authority will swap some parcels to create temporary surface parking that will be leased to the Parking Authority. “Temporary” essentially means until a parking deck is constructed, which could be several years.

City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier estimated about 100 more spaces could fit on the property, in addition to the existing 80 or so existing spaces near Lot B. The move will allow some motorists who lease spaces from the Parking Authority at St. Mary’s on Central Avenue to move closer to downtown, he said. Leasing the temporary surface parking would provide Dornoch some cash flow as it builds The Savoy across the street (where there has been virtually no activity in a year) and pays some $30,000 in property taxes on The Westbury site alone.

The resolution and memo of understanding is meant to convince Dornoch’s investors, a hedge fund based in Holland, that The Westbury is a reality and provide them with a level of comfort to secure additional investments and financing for The Savoy. Should investors not be comfortable with prospects for The Westbury, they don’t believe they would get enough return on The Savoy alone, Pelissier said. “They’ve invested a lot,” he added and would be more comfortable knowing the Redevelopment Agency won’t back out of The Westbury project.

Also referred to as Dornoch II, The Westbury originally was envisioned as a 140-unit development along Main Street behind the East Cherry Street storefronts. The project also included 20,700 square feet of commercial office space and 19,2000 square feet of retail, with an adjacent 350-space parking deck.