A Parking Garage Committee composed of Five City Council members recently approved a recommendation to move forward with plans to construct a Downtown Parking Garage. The proposal calls for developer John Allen to proceed with his plans to build the garage at a cost of 5.1 million dollars. The space will include retail space which the committee suggests should be auctioned off upon completion to help pay for the garage and to keep the city form being perceived as being in the business of competing with other downtown business developers.
For many years downtown business owners and downtown developers have made an issue of parking in downtown. The Main Street Organization (the predecessor to Jackson Downtown Development Corporation) has often raised parking concerns as a hindrance to downtown development. The Planning Commission is on the record saying the demand for parking is down since the 2003 tornados and the city owns approximately 1800 parking spaces and has regular demand for about 1100 spaces.
Mr Allen has stated on several occasions has stated that he was approached by then Mayor Charles Farmer about the need for a downtown parking garage and he (Mr. Allen) was asked to proceed with a project.
In April of 2007 John Allen came before the city council requesting approval of a Letter of Intent. The attached audio is the record of that request and the council understanding and action.
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