City Council to Vote on Short Street Garage

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COLUMBIA - City council members will meet Monday night to cast their votes on the final plan and design for the Short Street parking structure in downtown Columbia.

Members will decide on whether or not construction workers will add retail space to the bottom floor of the garage like they did for the 5th and Walnut garage on the other side of downtown. They will also decide on the final design plan as far as number of spaces and floors in the garage.

Workers will build the new garage on the corner of Short and Walnut Street across from the Regency Hotel. However, a new Doubletree Hotel will be taking the place of the Regency Hotel. The Regency Hotel is scheduled for demolition on December 1st and the Doubletree Hotel will follow the same construciton schedule as the garage.

Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said that surrounding businesses, the new hotel, and the new apartment complex that will be built on the corner of College Avenue and Walnut Street are already asking for retail space and parking permits. He said the Doubletree has already asked for 100 parking permits, approximately 30 percent of the total alloted spaces in the garage.

Right now, the garage is set to have 340 spaces, but Romaine said the city has the appropriate amount of demand and funding to increase the total spaces to 410. This will be a decision the city council will be voting on Monday night.

If everything is passed Monday night, construction for the new Short Street garage will begin in early spring and will continue for 10-12 months.