I’ve just been informed that the Plan Commission yesterday voted down a proposal involved in the Downtown Plan that would have allowed buildings to be demolished to put in new surface parking lots. Additionally, the plan commission asked for a study to be done to document need and explore other transportation and parking options.
So a friend (an engineer with the WSDOT, by the way) and I were having this discussion the other day because we were walking near the Opera House and noticing the giant new parking lot across from it. She mentioned that, as large as the lot is, she thought there would have been room for a mid-size building of some sort on the property, to house maybe a nice restaurant or bar for the Opera House crowd. I agreed, and added that, in all my years in Spokane, I have never gone to an event where I couldn’t find a parking spot somewhere within a couple blocks of the Opera House. And that was before the new lot went in.
So how about you? Do you think we needed another surface parking lot downtown or are we maxed out?
I'm surprised that there was a proposal to allow buildings to be demolished for parking lots. Do people not remember the anger over the Rookery block? If anything, they need to start filling in some of the surface parking with structures. The majority of the surface lots are ill-maintained eyesores.
I was surprised to hear that too Mike. I hadn't been keeping up with the Downtown Plan like I should have so found that to be pretty amazing. In this town anymore, it's not even PC to mention surface lots, unless you do so with disdain and a matching facial expression. The Downtown Plan still has to go to City Council for approval, so it may not pass as-is. I can't remember when it's slated for approval but I was told yesterday so I'll try to keep track of it.