Economic Development, Government, and Real Estate

Real estate firm releases downtown parking report

February 16, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Downtown parking is an issue for many employers. Some are fortunate to have space available in front of their workplaces, while others require that employees walk a distance to work. Photo by Chris Pastotnik

A local commercial real estate firm has released a report on parking in downtown Grand Rapids.

Colliers West Michigan partnered with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., or DGRI, a civic agency, and the city's Mobile GR initiative to put together data on the city’s parking status, so businesses can make informed decisions related to parking and real estate.

"One of the issues our clients continue to face downtown is the availability and cost of employee parking,” said David Wiener, office advisor, Colliers West Michigan. "As our downtown continues to evolve, we make it our job to stay in tune with how parking affects business decisions."

Among the most prominent facts of the study is that downtown parking lots are 95 percent occupied, a statistic the Business Journal reported in this week’s print issue. The report also says 94 percent of workers in the Central Business District commute by auto, with 2 percent using public transit and 4 percent biking, walking or other.

The report notes three proposed downtown developments that would include parking, including Warner Tower’s seven-story parking garage, Studio C!’s 900-space parking ramp and Hinman Tower, which has no clear parking additions yet.

A new, city-owned surface lot with 293 spaces near the Downtown Market is also proposed and will go to the Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Feb. 23.

“This project will help maintain parking supply for the area during development of various city- and Downtown Development Authority-owned properties north of this site,” the application says. “It may also help to support increased development near the Downtown Market.”

Grand Rapids is “working to become a ‘park once’ downtown district,” including touching on the city’s potential bike-sharing program and The Rapid’s DASH system, the report says.

“In order to best meet the current and future needs of Grand Rapids’ residents, businesses and visitors, our parking services must continue to evolve to meet transportation demands,” said Josh Naramore, manager, City of Grand Rapids Mobile GR and Parking Services. “We’re committed to working with all parking customers, as well as Grand Rapids residents and downtown visitors, to offer the best services that meet their needs and improve mobility options.”

Key parking data

City-owned lot/ramp spaces: 6,754

Privately owned spaces: 10,852

City-owned on-street metered spaces: 1,800

Monthly ramp and surface lot cards available from the city: 130

Average monthly parking rate: $132

Transit data for “informed decisions”

Cost of a 31-day unlimited bus pass: $47

Average cost of an Uber ride from Wealthy Street SE to Leonard Street NE: $5 to $7

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