All construction on the Lancaster Street property would be done by the city, and First Southern would then reimburse Stanford for the costs, Miracle said.
Currently, the main building on the Lancaster Street property is a vacant house that has severe fire damage. The portion of the Creamery property the city would give to First Southern has several large white buildings on it.
According to property valuation administrator records, the Creamery Property in its entirety at 217 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was valued at $100,000 in 2009. The Lancaster Street property at 206 Lancaster St. was valued at $80,000 in 2009. First Southern National Bank purchased the Lancaster Street property in 2007 for $80,000.
Miracle said the entire Creamery Property is almost 8 acres, but the city would only be giving First Southern about 4.2 acres of the land. The remaining approximately 3.7 acres are woods and open land, bordering the land where Logan's Fort is being recreated, he said.
The Creamery Property was bought by the city in September 2008 for $100,000, property valuation administrator records show. At the time, the city was hopeful it could lease the space to a business or utilize it as a community center, Miracle said. Unfortunately, those dreams never came to fruition.
"Through the period of time after the purchase, funding became an issue," Miracle said. "Grants became less available."
Some City Council members agreed Thursday night the decision to buy the Creamery Property was a bad one.
"I didn't vote for … First Southern Bank," Councilman Scottie Ernst said of his yes vote on the land swap. "I voted (yes) because we made a mistake buying that building."
Councilman Bobby Wilkinson cast the lone no vote against the deal. Wilkinson said he also believed the city made a mistake in buying the Creamery Property, but he couldn't get around the discrepancies in size between the two properties.
"We're trading four acres for six or seven parking spots and that's really bothering me," he said.
Miracle said he is confident the land swap could be beneficial for the look of Stanford, because First Southern has proven in the past to be committed to improving the city.
"We all know what First Southern (is) doing here in the community and the town," he said. "They're going to clean that (Creamery) property up and make it a nice place along the end of Martin Luther King Street."
Miracle said because the Lancaster Street property borders a county parking lot, the possibility exists to cooperate with the county and make the two properties function together.
"We could make it benefit everybody a lot better by tying things together this way," he said.
Miracle provided council members with tentative blueprints drawn up by AG&E Engineering that show a possible coordinated parking lot that would add up to 16 new spaces.
The plan for a combination parking lot shows the property line between city and county would dissect half the parking spaces on the left-hand side of the new lot.
The plan also includes green space, including a larger space at the end of the lot that could become a picnic area.
In addition to creating the new parking lot, the county's existing parking lot could be repaved and repainted.
Miracle said the new spaces would be for general use and would not be reserved for any specific people or businesses.
Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim Adams said he has talked briefly with Miracle about the idea and is not opposed to it. Adams said he thinks the fiscal court would also "go along" with the plan.
Adams said he didn't know of any legal hurdles the city and county would face if the plan moves forward. More parking downtown could be very beneficial, especially during special events that bring large numbers of people to Main Street or when churches have overflowing crowds, he added.
"We do have a parking garage down on one end of town, but this parking area would be a little more centrally located," Adams said.
Miracle said he sees the parking lot becoming a reality in the "very very near future," and thinks more downtown renovation could be hot on its heels.
"All this (renovation) could just potentially keep moving over," he said. "We've got another little corner on the next block we could start working with and improving."
Representatives with First Southern National Bank have not returned calls for comment.