DDA Gives Okay For More Parking

April 11, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — A new city-owned downtown parking lot should open for business in August as the Downtown Development Authority agreed last week to spend at least $63,250 with Walker Parking Consultants for a design of the lot.

The DDA also committed another $1.01 million last week to the reconstruction of two blocks of Louis Street, where a new city-owned parking ramp will also open in August.

The lot will be known as DASH 9, part of the DASH West shuttle system run by Parking Services, and will be located on Seward Avenue between Lake Michigan Drive and Bridge Street. According to Parking Services Director Pam Ritsema, many of the lot’s spaces have already been sold.

“We’ve had two requests for 330 spaces,” she said.

The number of spaces the lot will add to the downtown system won’t be known until the design is finished. But Mayor John Logie said the city would gain more spaces than it would lose from a complex property transaction it did with the YMCA, Catholic Secondary Schools and De Vries Properties.

The city is expected to close on the De Vries parcel, on the east side of Seward, in June, and the Lake Michigan parcel, owned by the parochial school system, next year.

Last month, DDA members paid Walker Parking $20,000 for a geological study on both properties. Walker released the findings from that study last week and the results showed lots could be built on both sites.

The contract the DDA has with Walker Parking covers the design of both lots, which will offer parking and shuttle service to the new convention center on Monroe Avenue and to the new GVSU health professions building going up on Michigan Street.

As for the work on Louis Street, the reconstruction effort will run from Ottawa Avenue to Fulton Street and will include a full streetscape improvement. The project’s total cost has been estimated at $2.1 million, with the DDA’s share at $1.01 million.

Work is expected to start in May, after city commissioners choose either Dykema Excavating or Diversco Construction as the contractor, and should take six months to complete.

The city’s newest parking facility, the Monroe Center 2 ramp at Louis and Ottawa, is scheduled to open in August.

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