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Wed, Feb. 19

Officials hammer out details for parking garage

PRESCOTT – Myriad details will go into the agreements for construction of the downtown parking garage.

This month, after countless rounds of negotiations between Prescott city officials and representatives of the company that plans to build the garage, the agreements appear to be nearly ready to go back to the Prescott City Council for final review.

Greg Fister, economic development coordinator for the city, said a project agreement and a design/build agreement are nearly ready for council review. He estimated that the two documents will go to the council on Sept. 26.

At about 30 pages each, the agreements include plenty of details about the responsibilities of both parties in the construction of the garage. Because of the complexity of the agreements, Fister said city officials likely will plan a special City Council workshop for review of the documents.

Along with the two agreements, the Sept. 26 meeting also likely will include a presentation of a view study and massing study to show how the parking garage will fit into its Granite Street location.

Earlier this year, the council chose a proposal from M3 Companies as the best option for a downtown parking garage. M3's plan involves a mixed-use building that would combine the parking garage with luxury apartments and office space.

The council has yet to enter a formal agreement with M3 for the construction of the garage. That likely will come with the project agreement and the design/build agreement. Until then, the city and M3 are operating under a memorandum of understanding, which obligates the city to pay as much as $75,000 of M3's design expenses, should the city decide not to move ahead with the project.

If all goes as planned, Fister said construction work on the garage could begin by January. The project will take about eight or nine months to complete, he added.

The garage will have about 500 parking spaces, 425 of which will be public.

To replace the 75 all-day spaces and 50 two-hour parking spaces that will be lost during the construction period, Fister said the city is looking into some temporary parking plans.

Since early August, an ad hoc parking committee has been working to make recommendations on some of the questions that have come up about management of the parking garage.

The committee is working on issues such as the cost of parking in the garage, and how the city should manage its existing on-street spaces once the garage is in place.

The committee also should be ready to make a presentation to the council sometime this fall, Fister said.

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