City tables group's plea for parking garage bonds

November 11, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

Facing a potential tenant's Nov. 30 deadline, the Third Street Development Corporation met with the Danville City Commission in executive session Monday to discuss funding a parking garage next to the Hub-Gilcher building, owned by the corporation.

"This is most likely our last hope for landing a large tenant for the Hub," the Boyle County Community Development Corporation wrote in an e-mail Tuesday to various Danville residents asking for help.

During Monday's meeting, Danville City Commissioners said they don't want to issue bonds to build a parking garage next to the Hub-Gilcher building on Third Street until they receive a $1.75 million federal transportation grant.

Third Street Development Corporation, which owns the Hub-Gilcher building, has a prospective tenant for the Hub, but chairperson Janet Hamner said that client would not lease space unless there was a parking garage.


"We've lost clients before because there was no parking structure and we'll continue to lose clients until there is a parking structure," she said.

The CDC's e-mail said, "All other prospects have fallen away due to the unresolved parking problems" and that if the city didn't commit to a garage by Nov. 30 then it would lose its potential client.

The total cost for a 294-space garage is $4.9 million. It is $4.4 million for a 251-space garage.

If the city receives the federal money, it would need to issue $2.1 million in bonds for a 294-space garage or $1.6 million in bonds for a 251-space garage.

Commissioner Jamey Gay said that was the information he felt he needed to make a decision. He asked twice for the commissioners to set a timetable for voting on the garage. "I feel like we need a parking garage to be the catalyst for downtown revitalization," Gay said.

Mayor John W.D. Bowling said he first wants to know how long the city has to spend the federal money. The Kentucky Renaissance money has to be spent within two years.

Bowling told Gay that the City Commission could have a special meeting to decide whether it would build a garage.

Commissioner Chester Kavanaugh wanted to know if the garage's spaces could be rented, if the Hub building is developed.

Bravura Corporation architect Dan DeYoung, whose firm designed the garage, said the spaces would then have to be rented for $70 and there would likely be little occupancy then because spaces in Danville now rent for $20 -$25 a month.

If the Hub has a tenant, then spaces would rent for $35 the first year and the rate could increase in the third year.

Gay said that he felt like the city would need to take a "leap of faith" and build the garage even before Third Street Development secured a tenant.

Commissioner Terry Crowley said he didn't believe that there would be any "significant changes to downtown" without solving the parking problem first.

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