Archive for Monday, April 18, 2011

Lawrence City Commission to consider changes to parking lot in 1000 block of Vermont

April 18, 2011


Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting will consider changing a downtown parking lot to accommodate plans for an architectural firm to move its headquarters downtown.

Commissioners will consider converting the two-hour lot in the 1000 block of Vermont Street into a 10-hour, metered lot. Officials with Lawrence-based Treanor Architects have asked for the change. The architecture firm is planning a $2 million project to convert the former Strong’s Office Supply building at 1040 Vt., which is adjacent to the parking lot, into an office building.

None of the spaces in the city lot would be reserved for the Treanor project. Instead, Treanor would purchase 50 parking passes from the city that would allow employees of the firm to take spots on a first-come, first-serve basis. Treanor is asking the city to provide the company a 10-year guarantee on how much the parking passes will cost. He’s proposing the current rate of $195 per year, per pass.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.


Uhjh 7 years ago

No - this lot needs to be for the public! I'm sure they will get whatever they want since precious little Dave is the building owner.

irvan moore 7 years ago

we don't have enough parking downtown and have to build a parking garage and they want to take 50 spaces for a business to have employee parking? hopefully they realize how stupid that is before they ask for a parking garage expansion to add another level.

hujiko 7 years ago

This is a bad idea, it will hurt surrounding businesses when the public isn't able to park as close. Treanor should have thought this through when relocating to Downtown Lawrence.

onceinawhile 7 years ago

The headline says New Hampshire but the story says Vermont. Which is it? Isn't this stuff copy edited before being posted...?

Brian Hall 7 years ago

The story should have how many parking spots the lot has. From Google Maps it looks like a decent sized lot. If there's 200 spots then I say fine but if there's only 100 spots then maybe Treanor should just have his employees fend for themselves. Can Treanor ask Capitol Federal or the businesses that use the parking lot at 11th & Kentucky to rent him some spaces?

And what business has went out of business and given "lack of parking" as a reason? There's ample parking downtown--people may just have to walk more than half a block.

DeMontfort 7 years ago

You can get all the information by going to the city's website and looking at the commission agenda packet materials for this item.

kugrad 7 years ago

With all the tax breaks they are getting, at least charge them something additional for the parking.

riverdrifter 7 years ago

The parking lot is fine just as it is. Leave it alone. Don't fix something that is not broken.

webmocker 7 years ago

One Eye says:

"...$195.00 a year, something like $16 a month, which for 8 hours a day,5 days a week, is , it can't be right, only 10cents a day? Someone at the Journal World is surely better to figure out how much $195.00 a year comes to per day. based on 5 work days a week. "

Approximately 78 cents per day, assuming 50 weeks a year, 5 days a week (2 weeks off for vacation). Add a few holidays in and maybe it bumps to 81 cents a day. Parking fees should be tied to use. No discounts for using it more often. But that is just one person's opinion, and I doubt it is shared by many.

pizzapete 7 years ago

No way should public parking be given away like this and $200 a year is giving it away. Treanor should be required to build their own parking lot if they want to relocate there.

deec 7 years ago

The city could sell them part of the lot at fair market value and require them to pay the costs of reconfiguring the street and lot to accommodate the change. They could also sell Doug part of the parking garage for that project, again at fair market value.

make_a_difference 7 years ago

52 weeks in a year...5 "business" days a week = 260 weekday days a year...divide $195.00 by 260 and you get 75. That makes a day of parking cost 75 cents per day for these passes. Hopefully city hall will realize that 75 cents a day would be a considerable slap in the face to the public. (have to admit I don't have a lot of hope about that though)

MattressMan 7 years ago

m_a_d says " Hopefully city hall will realize that 75 cents a day would be a considerable slap in the face to the public."

How is it a slap in the face when the public can get that exact same rate ($195) right now by buying a yearly parking pass?

BigPrune 7 years ago

How about the City charge $195 year one and bump the rate based on the consumer price index - urban per year compounded, or 3% per year compounded? At 3% compounded Year 1 = $195.00 Year 2 = $201.03 Year 3 = $207.24 Year 4 = $213.65 Year 5 = $220.26 Year 6 = $227.07 Year 7 = $234.10 Year 8 = $241.34 Year 9 = $248.80 Year 10 = $256.50

The City will be leaving money on the table, in addition to the tax break this firm got for relocating to the downtown from an existing location.

webmocker 7 years ago

Giving a discount on parking discourages carpooling or using other forms of transportation to get downtown, and adds to congestion in the downtown area. Fair pricing of parking might encourage use of the T, which the city has been trying to keep alive.

Armored_One 7 years ago

All of this belly aching over how it is such a deal for Treanor.

Any stop to think for a couple of seconds and realize that parking in that lot is free, and while the income from selling parking passes to Treanor won't exactly cure all the financial ills in this city, it will at least be more than it is getting at the moment.

Not to mention that another empty spot downtown gets put to good use, instead of just sitting there like it is right now.

Nah, let's just raise a stink fit and parade around like self important chimpanzees. Much better idea than some sort of extra income for the city.

pizzapete 7 years ago

Stop for a minute and realize this is where I and many others park when we want to get coffee, pizza, a sandwich, or a beer. Now stop for a minute and realize there isn't going to be as much parking if Treanor takes this place over and some customers may go elsewhere if parking is no longer available, thus hurting existing businesses.

Armored_One 7 years ago

Give me some solid numbers here, Pizza.

Are we talking 10 people?

Maybe 20?

How many of those 50 people the parking passes would be given to would be eating downtown, getting coffee downtown, getting a beer after work (as if there is a severe shortage of bars in this blasted town)??

Being an alarmist only works if there is something worth being alarmed about.

DeMontfort 7 years ago

Hmmm. Wonder what will happen to the Tuesday afternoon Farmer's Market.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Mr Treanor's powerful lobbyist, Ben Dover, is doing a masterful job on our commissioners.

It is a shame they are so willing to do whatever Ben Dover tells them.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Seventy-five cents per day does indeed sound like a too good deal. That said, there is a problem with these calculations. Because space in the lot will be based on a first come, first serve basis, we can assume that there will be times when holders of those permits will find a full lot. They will have to park somewhere else. Even at the very discounted rate, they will paying for a spot that is occupied by someone else.

ferrislives 7 years ago

I knew something was fishy when they started construction on the building without installing a parking garage underneath. They appear to know for sure that the city will pass this, and they're probably right. It's just too bad that the city is so predictable.

The idea that a company can get tax breaks and a large chunk of parking spaces at a price to be kept at a certain rate for 10 years is absolutely ludicrous. I cannot believe that the city has stooped so low. They used to actual look at these sort of proposals, debate the pros and cons, and come up with a real decision. Now they just appear to be yes men, which is too bad for the citizens of Lawrence.

What the city doesn't seem to realize is with these sort of steps, they are actually killing downtown. Why shop in congestion when you can go elsewhere? When enough people feel wronged by the city, they'll use the other options that are available within 50 miles from here.

Emily Hadley 7 years ago

At one place I worked downtown, most of the staff would move their cars every two hours. I really appreciated the metered lots and avoided driving as much as possible. I rode my bike through South Park, under the redbuds in the morning fog. I rode the bus--and was able to go home and return on it for a 30 minute lunch break. I walked, as well. All were gloriously easy and pleasant, while driving was more likely to be annoying and time-consuming. Ten-hour metered lots provide parking for downtown employees, while patrons can park there as well; patrons can also park at the street metered spaces and in the two-hour lots. The parking garage is very rarely full, and the side streets always have free parking. I think we will survive.

brcromer 7 years ago

How about this. People could purchase a pass to park wherever there is city owned parking space downtown. The cost of the pass could be higher than any price the city is currently charging. If people want the pass they can pay whatever the cost is. Like $600.00 or $1,000.00 something like that. The cost would be prohibitive enough that most people wouldn't want to buy one but for those of us who do a lot of work downtown it would be worth it to avoid the hassle of meters and two hour limits. You can even keep the fifteen minute stalls.

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