Columbus is seeking approval to remove and replace a city-owned parking lot at Franklin and Sixth streets, although work isn’t expect to begin until next year.
The planned renovation of the 39,527-square-foot parking lot, which has 88 reserved spaces, will add a walking path and shade structure. Developed in 1988, it became known as the “carscape lot” because of its extensive landscaping.
However, the city began receiving complaints about its two downtown lots — Lots 3 and 10 — in early 2015 after rates were raised from $35 to $65 a month for a parking place. People who rented the parking spaces complained about poor lighting and landscaping, potholes, lack of snow removal and an excess of bird droppings, councilman Dascal Bunch said in an earlier interview.
The city improved Lot 3, located at Fourth and Franklin streets, with resurfacing and drainage repairs in 2015.
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In February of this year, the city entered into an agreement with Hitchcock Design Group to redesign Lot 10 at Franklin and Sixth streets for $18,400, said Mary Ferdon, executive director of administration and community development. Monies for the design work came through the city’s Streetscape fund, Ferdon said.
Council members had approved using city general fund money in 2015 to utilize the city’s own garage employees to do the work, eliminating the need for proposals or bids, but Ferdon said the money was never spent and was instead placed back into the city’s general fund.
Ferdon said the city plans to use its own workers for demolition and other work in 2018 to save money on the parking lot improvement project, adding that no overtime will be used.
The city’s proposal came before the Columbus Plan Commission on April 12, but it decided to continue the matter. The plan commission will revisit the issue once it receive answers tied to design questions about the circulation of traffic around the parking lot, said Jeff Bergman, city-county planning director.
Ferdon said the parking lot improvement project will be included in the city’s 2018 budget, although an exact cost remains unknown, she said.