Posted: Aug 1, 2005, 1:47 PM
Witty comment fail
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Prattville, Alabama
Montgomery development news
I'm sure this thread will only be updated every 6 months or so, but still....
Adding pair of parking decks high priority for downtown
By Sebastian Kitchen
More than 800 parking spaces and a New Orleans-style alley with restaurants and shopping will be added to downtown Montgomery through the investment of tax dollars.
"There are private developers very interested in moving forward if the parking situation is resolved," said Gordon Martin, chairman of the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation.
Last year, both the city and the county approved the creation of a tax incremental financing district for the downtown and riverfront area.
The district caps ad valorem taxes at a certain level and uses any revenue growth for infrastructure and development in the district. Martin said it is not a tax increase. The TIF does not impact taxes directed to education.
The first priority is two parking decks, one across Coosa Street from Riverwalk Stadium, and another just off of lower Dexter Avenue.
There is a project review committee, which includes Martin and several other city, county and chamber officials. The City Council has final review of the projects funded by the district.
Martin will present the priorities and recommendations to the council during its meeting Tuesday.
Local officials believe the parking decks will support future development and encourage private investment.
"The public investment is necessary to spur private development," Martin said.
Mayor Bobby Bright said he supports parking as a priority with the funding. The parking decks are needed for future growth, he said.
" I think parking is key," Bright said.
Parking has been a common complaint from business owners and employees downtown.
Martin said some preliminary work has been done for the Coosa Street deck and it could be ready for use in 18 to 24 months.
The two decks are among several planned for downtown. Those include one with the intermodal bus transfer facility and with the convention center and hotel project.
Martin said they estimate the district will create $9 million to $10 million in revenue.
The projects total at least $12 million, but Martin said the decks will generate revenue that can be reinvested.
The Coosa deck will cost $5.8 million and include 398 parking spaces.
Some retail spaces in downtown are ready for development, but are waiting for more parking, Martin said.
"When we solve the parking problem, I think we'll see a significant amount of development," he said.
The entrance for the lower Dexter parking deck will be on Washington Avenue and the deck will not be seen from Dexter Avenue.
There will be 421 parking spaces in the deck, which has an estimated price of $6.2 million.
The New Orleans style "Grocer's Alley" will be built using a current alley and path that will be torn through a building in front of Commerce Street. The alley, which will connect the hotel and civic center to the baseball stadium, will feature restaurants and shopping. The proposed cost of the alley is $1.1 million and will include contributions from private developers.
The alley was a priority because visitors, when surveyed by the chamber, said Montgomery needed more shopping and dining, Martin said.
He expects the alley to be ready by the opening of the civic center and hotel in the spring or summer of 2007, if not earlier.