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Thu, Feb. 20

Journey to parking spaces nears an end

Some questions remain about the parking structure from the M3 Companies that the Prescott City Council seems to favor.

But the five-story structure the developers of Prescott Lakes propose would include 425 parking spaces, a net increase of 296 when you factor in the existing 125 spaces on the tract of Granite Street property where the city proposed to build the structure.

It isn't just parking spaces. The M3 proposal includes an attractive facade that emulates the period architecture of Whiskey Row, which faces away from it on the other side of the alley.

It also would include 6,000 square feet of new retail space and 52 apartment units. The structure provides 80 parking spaces in addition to the 425 public ones for apartment residents, tenant businesses and their employees.

The city received 12 proposals from six companies in response to its request. A seven-member advisory committee recommended two plans to the council- the elaborate M3 plan and a plan from the Linthicum company which calls for strictly a parking structure.

In its Tuesday study session, the council quickly eliminated the Linthicum plan and seemed in agreement on the M3 proposal.

Although the M3 proposal would cost the city $4 million and change (M3 would shoulder the costs of building the retail space and apartments), compared with the Linthicum plan's cost of $2.95 million, City Manager Larry Asaro said the M3 proposal met other criteria, such as a "light and airy" appearance that would be a landmark Prescott building.

The council didn't make a final decision at the work session. That could come as early as its meeting next Tuesday.

Whether you like the proposal itself or the costs, it seem the city's long journey to increased downtown parking finally may be coming to an end.

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