MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphians could soon see a parking garage with 1400 new parking spaces replacing a lot on Peabody Avenue. It is a part of a plan that the Downtown Memphis Commission has to expand and improve parking.
A year ago, the Downtown Memphis Commission conducted a parking study to find out how to tackle parking needs downtown. From the study, they took away three big ideas presented in a virtual meeting Tuesday.
“We want to be clear about how we’re following the recommendations of the parking study: one to use existing parking first, to expand your work to include mobility, and three to build new parking strategically and sparingly,” Brett Roler, DMC’s Vice President of Planning & Development, said.
While the study found that contrary to public perception there is not a shortage of parking downtown, there are ways to improve existing parking which is what the commission plans to do with the “Shoppers” parking garage on Front Street.
“There’s exposed rebar, damaged concrete, stained and dirty concrete, darkened closed stairwells, there’s a use of decorative concrete masonry unit block that really limits the natural surveillance into and out of the garage,” Roler said about the garage.
Roler says it’s necessary to improve areas in the garage where people may feel unsafe. The commission approved a resolution to move forward on a project to improve the garage that could cost up to $100,000.
DMC President Jennifer Oswalt presented plans to expand parking downtown as well.
“This is a piece of property that’s city-owned and in the core of our downtown right in the hot spot of a lot of our office buildings which are running out of parking,” Oswalt said.
The plan is to make a mobility center at the lot on the corner of Peabody Avenue and Front Street that would include a parking garage and bike station.
“We want this to be a beacon that welcomes people to the core of our downtown where they can then spread out and do lots of different activities,” Oswalt said.
The commission approved a resolution for the project that could cost up to $500,000.
The Downtown Memphis Commission is expected to hear and discuss more details about the plans for both parking garages in their next meeting on Oct. 28.