The last two public parking lots built by the city took time and money to build. But the commission has acquired another with a stroke of the pen.
At its June 14 meeting, commissioners approved a revenue-sharing agreement with the owner of the 21-space parking lot at 2309 N. Dixie Hwy., in the middle of the storefronts south of Five Points now collectively referred to as Dixie Village – formerly Antique Alley. The deal comes as the city is trying to find parking for Wilton Drive, especially the north end near Five Points.
Commissioner Julie Carson called the agreement “a great opportunity for us to think outside the box.”
Last year, the commission approved the purchase of an empty lot at Northeast 23 Drive and Northeast 11 Avenue, behind Bona Pizza. The purchase cost was $447,879. It’s estimated that 18 to 24 spaces can be built and it will take between $180,000 and $240,000 to pave the lot.
Under the new agreement, the public can use the lot from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week and the owner will get 50 percent of the revenue generated. Money generated from citations is not included. It’s expected to be available for public use within two months.
“Staff sees this as a low-cost way to leverage the city's enforcement capability to allow us to add 21 much-needed public parking spaces to serve Dixie Highway and the north end of Wilton Drive. The location of this parking lot makes it a unique opportunity to provide additional parking not only for patrons of the Dixie Highway businesses, including the new theater, but also for patrons of Wilton Drive businesses. This will give easy access to Wilton Drive, just one block to the north,” wrote Bob Mays, city finance director.
Drivers who use the lot will have to pay but no meters will be installed. Payments must be made through the city’s ParkMobile app [us.parkmobile.com]. “A high (and increasing) percentage of city parking customers are using the ParkMobile app to pay for parking, making this a popular as well as a cost-effective approach,” wrote Mays. The only costs expected for the city are for signage and Mays estimates that won’t be more than $1,000. The owner has agreed to construct an opening in the fence on the backside of the lot on Northeast 11 Avenue and the $110 building permit fee will be waived by the city.
Mays wrote that it’s hard to know how much revenue will be generated but he estimates, based on only a 10 percent occupancy rate, $5,032 in annual revenue after the lot owner gets his share.