Walnut and 5th Parking Garage Not Attracting New Parkers

7 years 3 months 19 hours ago Monday, May 16 2011 May 16, 2011 Monday, May 16, 2011 6:40:00 PM CDT May 16, 2011 in News
By: Brian Johnson
loading

COLUMBIA - Elton Fay sees a problem with the new parking garage on 5th and Walnut.

"I see lots of parking spaces. Nobody parking in them," Fay said.

He owns a law office next door to the garage, so he attended initial meetings about building it.

"At those meetings they showed us plans for what I would consider a reasonable-sized parking garage," Fay said.

In 2001, Columbia commissioned a transportation consultant, Transystems Corporation, to evaluate the need for additional parking downtown. Transystems' final recommendation was to add 300 spaces north of Broadway to "meet projected future demands" and "aid in accommodating special events."

This would increase the number of empty spaces downtown during peak times and leave an "excess available to handle special events. But the garage the city eventually built has 703 spaces, more than double Transystems' recommendation. The cost--with interest--will be $21 million. The city won't pay it off in full until 2034.

"It makes it easy to say where our office is. We just say look at the huge garage downtown that doesn't look like it is supposed to be there. We are right west of there," Tony St. Romaine, Assistant City Manager, said.

St. Romaine has been the Assistant City Manager since 2006, long before construction on the garage began. He was surprised to learn the amount of spaces in the garage.

St. Romaine: "I don't think that garage has 700 spaces in it. Does it?"
KOMU: "It has 703 spaces."
St. Romaine: "Is it 703 spaces?"
KOMU: "703 spaces."
St. Romaine: "You know I am not familiar with the study."

The 703 spaces are divided by who can use them and for what cost. Of those, 520, called permit spaces, are for rent by anyone who wants to pay $50 to $60 a month. Right now, 139 of those spaces, or about 27%, are occupied. Of those, 36 are city vehicles parked on the roof. City employees use 59 more spaces, but get to park for free as part of their benefits package. Eight additional people transferred from other garages. So, the number of new monthly parking customers for the city thanks to this garage is...36.

"I personally think the 5th and Walnut parking garage was overbuilt. I think had it been a 300 space garage you wouldn't be interviewing me right now," Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said.

McDavid was elected after the decision to construct the 5th and Walnut parking garage was made.

"There were five members of the city council, including myself, that were not a part of that decision process. I believe that the process was flawed. We committed $16 million to a garage that is going to lose money for some time," McDavid said.

So who is responsible for the fact that the garage is more than double the recommendation? Elton Fay blames John Glascock, Public Works Director, for the size of the garage. That would be enough in most places to cause somebody to lose their job, over a mistake like this one. And that's what it is, a mistake. But the mayor says it's too soon to judge failure--or success.

"You know if we end up with five high-rise office buildings surrounding that 5th and Walnut garage, the people that made the decision will look brilliant. If, however, it continues to stand solitary and alone monopolizing the skyline in 20 years, they won't look so good." McDavid said. "Right now I think a lot of people are doubting whether those spaces will ever fill up. But I think if you look at past history of all the other garages that we have built downtown as future development comes there is going to be additional need for parking."

Future needs that might be met by another parking garage to be built on Short Street.

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri candidate who recently claimed a surprise victory in the Republican primary for state... More >>
20 minutes ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis housing complex where reported... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - St.Louis-based SSM Health confirmed Thursday it is exploring a transfer of its Jefferson City and Mexico hospitals to... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:28:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport managers held the first All Things Airport monthly meeting on Thursday. The meeting was... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Aretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title "the Queen of Soul,"... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thursday morning's latest drought update from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows the expansion of drought... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who's charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter and critically injuring her 1-year-old son... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 8:38:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jetliner taking off narrowly missed hitting an airport van that crossed a runway to go to... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Missouri state trooper who was driving a boat when a handcuffed Iowa man fell... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:41:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - A multiple vehicle accident shut down both sides of Interstate 70 Wednesday around 7 p.m. At least... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department opened a new substation in northeast Columbia on Wednesday. It's located off of Paris... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:36:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – In his first comments on the extended period of weekend violence in downtown Columbia, Police Chief Ken Burton... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department and the Columbia Police Department issued a joint statement Wednesday calling recent... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:24:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A jury has awarded Missouri prison guards compensation for work they performed before and after... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 5:51:38 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate allegations that a lawyer for the ex-husband of... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Teachers and staff spent their last day before the new school year not just preparing lesson plans... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:20:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A grant and 10 year plan want to help revitalize an old section of Columbia and make it... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:03:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Many rural school districts aren't getting enough from the state to pay for transporting students. Last... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 2:22:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
3pm 91°
4pm 91°
5pm 91°
6pm 91°