Cummins is reconfiguring a downtown parking lot to add more employee parking spaces.
Columbus Plan Commission members approved allowing the company to redevelop the former Sears Auto Center property and parking lot at the northwest corner of Brown and Third streets to add 88 more parking spaces. There are 274 spaces now available there.
Additional space for more parking opened up with the demolition of the former Sears Auto Center building, said Donnie Henderson, Cummins facilities construction manager and Chad Kincaid, a civil engineer and senior project manager with TLF Inc., an Indianapolis engineering firm.
Twelve of the 88 parking spaces being added would be handicap accessible and the entire Cummins lot would be available for public use after hours.
Cummins will provide landscaping, parking lot islands and new asphalt, with drivers having access to the lot by a drive shared with Hotel Indigo to the north off of Brown Street.
City plan commission members approved having bike racks placed on the other side of Brown Street to make them accessible for the public.
Cindy Waddle, Hotel Indigo general manager, said the hotel supported the project 100 percent, but asked for signs to be posted in the area since semis travel down Brown Street. Waddle said she is talking with Cummins officials about signage for the shared entrance to the parking area.
Work on adding the spaces isn’t expected to begin for about four to six weeks, and is targeted for completion Nov. 1.
Plan commission member Zack Ellison said the Cummins project is a good move for the company and the community as well.
“When they say they’re going to do a project, it’ll be first class and that, to me, is important,” Ellison said.
Cummins offering to make the lot available free for community events parking after hours was also another positive aspect, he said.
“That’s just being a good neighbor,” he said.