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The Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority is looking to ease parking woes Downtown with construction of a new parking garage just south of city hall. On July 13, COTPA entered into an agreement to hire TAParchitecture to design a $20 million garage. It will include at least 750 parking spaces, retail on the ground floor, and the potential for residential units on top.
“The parking is already in demand and we have been charged to prosecute an aggressive schedule, but it is also worth noting that COTPA recognizes the potential of contributing much more to our community by including the mixed uses of commercial, retail and residential,” said TAParchitecture's Principal Anthony McDermid.
Situated between Main Street and Patience Latting
Circle, the space currently is surface parking for city officials and those
paying their water bill. It is controlled by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal
Authority. An additional lot that bumps up to it on the east is parking for the
Debi Holtzclaw, COTPA parking manager, said negotiations are under way to acquire those spaces and still provide parking for Hightower tenants within the new garage.
Parking has become tight Downtown, and COTPA garages often swell to capacity, she said. Several private garages dot the landscape, but many still have trouble finding spots. Some of the traffic at the 1,518-space Santa Fe garage at Two Santa Fe Plaza on the east side of Downtown was eased when Devon Energy built its own garage, but on its heels, Continental Resources moved Downtown and began using many of the Santa Fe spaces.
Based on a parking study by Walker Parking Consultants,
it was determined that a garage on the west side of Downtown would be
beneficial. The study was designed to provide an assessment
of current and future parking demands and recommend future garage locations.
“We knew there was a need on the west side,” Holtzclaw said.
After functionality, COTPA wanted a garage that also would be aesthetically pleasing, especially since the ground floor will house retail space.
“With the civic center and city hall right there, we wanted to make sure it would blend in with the neighbors and complement those buildings,” Holtzclaw said
The site is surrounded by city hall, the Civic
Center Music Hall, the 1920s Hightower and 420 W. Main St., which was built in 1927 and houses city offices.
McDermid says he is up to the challenge.
“Designing a large structure that fits
within an existing context and contributes to the pedestrian experience is the
kind of challenge that TAP seeks and enjoys,” McDermid said.
Holtzclaw estimated the project will take 18 months to build. She said if there are no major setbacks, the garage could open in late 2013 or early 2014.
Century Center, 100 W. Sheridan, 805 spaces
Cox Convention Center, One Myriad Gardens, 947 spaces
Santa Fe Parking Garage, Two Santa Fe Plaza, 1,518 spaces
Sheridan Walker, 501 W. Sheridan, 1,116 spaces