A planned downtown parking deck will be built on the southeast corner of the Walton Arts Center campus at Spring Street and School Avenue.
According to city staff, a 246-space deck would cost $6.8 million and would include liner buildings on the ground level of the structure.
The two other site choices were the south end of the main parking lot west of the Walton Arts Center, and an existing parking lot located by Kingfish bar on School Avenue.[ Read more about each location in our previous story ]
Council members said the minimal amount of parking spaces lost during construction were a major reason for approving the site.
A deck at Spring and School would remove 28 existing parking spaces currently used by the Walton Arts Center’s administration offices. A deck on the main Walton Arts Center lot would displace 97 patron spaces, while a deck by Kingfish would remove 60 spaces.
Besides displacing customers who’d need a place to park during construction, the temporary removal of spaces also means a loss of paid parking fees which could require city staff to completely restructure the financing plan for the deck since paid parking revenue is what will cover up to $6.5 million in bonds for the project.
Because the deck is to be built on the Walton Arts Center’s campus, council members also approved a set of assurances that the city intends to pay for, construct, or provide the following:
1. A replacement office building
2. Provide 35 free parking spaces in the deck
3. Excavation so that the Walton Arts Center can expand its backstage
4. Construct a shell to assist in the planned backstage expansion project
5. Reasonable rent and moving expenses for WAC administrative staff displaced by the construction to the deck and their replacement building
Mayor Jordan said now that a site has been selected, he plans to issue the bonds to finance the project as early as Wednesday.
Location: Southeast corner of the Walton Arts Center campus at Spring Street and School Avenue
Size: Five levels, 246 spaces/218 net gain
Cost: $6.37 million
– The terrain makes the presence of the structure less dominant than East lot
– Least loss of revenue and parking spaces during construction
– Requires relocating Walton Arts Center administration building, but once rebuilt, it could buffer the view of the parking deck from the north