Parking Rates May Increase

May 9, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Parking commissioners agreed last week to lease spaces to Moch International for a new extended-stay hotel the father-and-son team plan to build in the Monroe North Business District, and also agreed to bump up monthly parking rates at city-owned lots and ramps.

The change to monthly rates is a 2.5 percent across-the-board increase that would start on July 1, the beginning of the city’s new fiscal year, if city commissioners approve the hike. The increase is nearly 1.5 percent less than the Consumer Price Index rate for March, which was 3.98 percent.

The hike would raise the cost for monthly parking at the Government Center and DeVos Place ramps to $142.50 and to $142.75 at the Pearl Ionia ramp, the highest priced parking in the city’s downtown system. Prices at the DASH West and South lots would rise to $24.50 a month, the lowest priced parking in the system.

All special events rates would rise by $1, with $8 being the highest at the Ottawa Fulton ramp and two lots near Van Andel Arena. The half-hour rate in city facilities wasn’t raised for the fourth consecutive year, with most prices staying at $1.

“These rates benefit the short-term visitor,” said Pam Ritsema, Parking Services director.

By a 4-to-3 vote, parking commissioners gave their blessing to a 20-year lease of 100 spaces in the city’s North Monroe lot at Monroe Avenue and Trowbridge Street for a new Staybridge Suites hotel that Joseph A. Moch and Joseph W. Moch intend to build at Bond Avenue and Trowbridge, just east of the city lot.

City commissioners approved a parking agreement with the Mochs last year, but that contract was for 70 spaces and wasn’t signed by either party. Another agreement had to be drawn up to reflect the increase in the number of spaces being leased and to include the new corporate name the Mochs are using for the project: SSGRCC LLC.

The Mochs will pay the city $8,350 a month for the spaces, which guarantees hotel guests 24-hour access to their vehicles. The lease will be terminated if the hotel doesn’t open by May 1, 2010. City commissioners still have to approve the lease. Parking commissioners voted against the initial lease agreement last year, but narrowly approved the latest one last week.

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