A parking problem is a good problem to have and in order to create the opportunity for economic and job growth, we need to provide additional parking. We have 106,000 square feet of vacant space that can add to our economic base. This opportunity is located within an area with many of the infrastructure requirements already in place. There are many combinations of possible uses for the space, including new retail, expansion of professional services, and additional regional and national knowledge-based companies like Symbiotix as an example.
We now have a great design for the parking structure that matches the scale and character of downtown. The garage includes parking for 294 cars, 1,100 square feet of retail space plus the Bluegrass Community Action Agency transportation station, which is of vital importance for our community public transportation needs. The cost estimates for construction, design and land acquisition bring the total price tag to $4.9 million. Through the efforts of the mayor and the Heart of Danville, we have $2.75 million in state and federal dollars for the project. That leaves no more than $2.2 million for the city to bond in order to complete the project.
After carefully evaluating the pro forma assembled by the design team (I would encourage anyone and everyone to carefully look at the numbers as well) using realistic and conservative numbers, I think this project works! The garage will sit on top of 56 existing parking spaces that are already rented. Those 56 parkers are anticipated to become the first new customers of the garage. In addition to the monthly spaces that downtown employees will use, there will be in-and-out parking provided for consumers and clients doing business in the downtown. This service will remain at a nominal fee, which will also generate revenue. Along with the parking revenue, the rental income from the 1,100 square feet of retail space will add dollars to the bottom line.
The time has come to build the parking garage and create economic development in a way that maintains the unique character and quality of our community.
Danville city commissioner