David Upton and Tamara Cook presented the proposal for the Cooper-Young parking deck to City Council Budget Committee members. They are asking for $3.4 million on behalf of the CYBA and CY business owners.
Much like we heard at our General Meeting a month and some ago, the parking deck would consist of 150 spaces – a ground floor and 2 elevated floors. There would be no elevators, but instead will have a stairway that is open since security is very important.
Upton stated that the existing retail and businesses needed infrastructure improvements such as this one to counter the tax increases and out of the area competition. This area, he also stated, has a proven track record of businesses who have been contributing to the tax base. Around 40% of the businesses in Cooper-Young are minority or women owned. In terms of revenue, the area between East Parkway and Barksdale generates approximately $66 million annually Upton stated.
In terms of feedback and questions from City Council members, Lee Harris stated that the proposal does make some sense because it would be far more difficult for the community to coordinate and find the funding than say a major business. Harris did ask about the neighborhood feedback since he was concerned that a parking deck might change the community’s character. (After the meeting, I informed him we were conducting a survey). Harris was also curious if the land was currently for sale, to which Upton replied that it was, but said that in terms of price it would likely be at a fair appraised value that the City would help determine. Wanda Halbert said that she was in support of the parking deck, but was not sure about funding. She stated that it was next to impossible to fund this given the current news that they just received from the state (I am not 100% certain what that news was, but Councilmembers did not seem happy). Shea Flinn echoed the same views since he was not sure where funding would come from. The City Administration stated that they are not for or against it and refrained from making a statement one way or the other. That being said though, there was NO official vote.
If this were to move forward, the land would likely have to have a land variance in some areas. Also, the public design process would be pretty in-depth.
We will continue to stay on top of the progress of this.