Plan being developed for more downtown parking

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With Downtown Memphis growing, the demand for parking spaces is increasing.

The Downtown Memphis Commission and the City of Memphis are developing a plan to make parking easier in certain areas of downtown.

Some residents, like Fabian McGhee, remember when there wasn't much to do in Downtown Memphis.

"We had a couple of stores for shopping but that was all," he said.

However, with Beale Street, FedExForum, Orpheum Theatre, and a multitude of restaurants there are now plenty of entertainment options.

"It's great. There's everything. You can live here, you can walk to where you want to go. Anything people want, except for a grocery store," McGhee said.

There's also a need for more parking.

According to DowntownMemphis.com, there are more than 40,000 parking spaces downtown.

The goals for the downtown parking plan are to determine how many more parking spaces are needed over the next 15 years and where they should go.

Jennifer Oswalt, interim president of the Downtown Memphis Commission, said many of the parking spaces will likely be in the downtown core and Medical District.

"It's just a piece of the puzzle of figuring out the best way to encourage development downtown," Oswalt said.

The hope is that it will spur more businesses downtown--growth that's already happening with ServiceMaster already open and other business expected to follow closely behind.

"You want to be thinking ahead for what the future is going to bring. You want to keep downtown thriving," Oswalt said.

The Downtown Memphis Commission and the city are expected to unveil the parking plan in April 2018.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.