Can’t find anywhere to park in Old Town? You’re in luck — Fort Collins City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to partner with local developers to construct a three-story parking garage downtown facing the Old Firehouse Alley.
The building, called the Jefferson Street Parking Garage, will contain 322 new parking spaces at the corner of Jefferson Street and Chestnut Street, 216 of which will be available for public use. 106 spaces will be designated for guests and employees of Old Town Hotel, a new luxury hotel to be built at 354 Walnut St. with more than 160 rooms. The entrance to the garage, which will feature a central ramp, is planned to be located on Chestnut Street.
3,200 square feet of retail space are also planned to be implemented into the design of the parking garage, which is designated for “artisan and hotel supporting retailers.”
Construction on the garage is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, after construction on Old Town Hotel has started. It should take about a year, according to a timeline released by City Council, after which the city will purchase the 216 parking spaces and make them available to the public. The other 106 spaces will be bought by Old Town Hotel.
Timeline of Garage Construction
The garage will cost about $11.8 million to construct, averaging just over $36,000 per parking space. The project will not be funded only by the city, however. The city will pay $7.1 million, or 62 percent of the total cost, and the other $4.1 million will come from the developers of Old Town Hotel.
Councilwoman Kristin Stephens responded to a citizen’s remark that the high cost of each individual parking space was unjustified by saying that it was normal to see these kinds of costs.
“It sounds like a lot, but that’s how much any parking garage costs if you want to make it look nice,” Stephens said.
With the passing of this resolution, the city will reach about 24 percent of its goal of creating 1,510 new parking spaces downtown over the next ten years. According to the proposal for the new parking garage, 910 of these new spaces would be created due to growth in the city and to accommodate updated programs, including a park n’ ride location for the MAX system and a growing Lincoln Center. The other 600 spaces would be created as part of the construction of a proposed 1,500-seat performance theatre.
Mayor Pro-Tem Gerry Horak said the project was one in the making since he first started working in the city government.
“I hate to go back to my old council time, but the thoughts on a hotel go back to that time,” Horak said. “It’s great that we have a partnership now, that a building is going up there.”
Collegian City Beat Reporter Erik Petrovich can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @EAPetrovich.