Brighton Downtown Development Authority Reserves Land for Possible Parking Garage
121 North Street would be the site of the new garage in downtown Brighton.
The Brighton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) announced Wednesday that it will reserve a half-acre parcel of land at 121 North Street to explore options for a parking garage.
At a special meeting, the DDA authorized chairman Bob Herbst to enter into an option agreement to purchase property. The option agreement will give the DDA a six-month period to perform site analysis, preliminary design and financing alternatives before making on a decision to purchase the property.
The DDA will pay a $25,000 option payment that will be partially refunded ($15,000) if the DDA chooses not to buy the property. The purchase price will be $437,500 on land contract terms with a deferred closing in order to meet the DDA's budget schedule.
The DDA also obtains the right to demolish the current building - a 8,900
square foot, two-story office building - something that is rare in a land contract agreement.
DDA Executive Director Matt Modrack said in a press release following the meeting that a parking structure is a significant investment and every aspect of it has to be right including, location, size, design, visibility, ease of use and cost.
“The North Street site can be seen from Grand River Avenue, which is an important feature for the businesses on the east side of Grand River Avenue -- their customers and employees would only need to walk one short block to get to the Grand River Ave./North St. crosswalk," Modrack said. "Moreover, it would be as easily seen from Main Street by both eastbound and westbound drivers. The experts tell us that the location and visibility will make or break a parking structure.”
The option agreement decision was made in closed session after the special meeing Wednesday morning, after hearing parking study updates from Rich & Associates, who conducted the last study in 2009.
According to Rich & Associates, the largest change is public parking at night, which went from 56 percent to 85 percent occupancy. The study did not account for future developments such as the bridal boutique, the brewery, or The Pound bar - which is currently under construction on Main Street.
"There's two things that the DDA is always going to be working on, and one is making sure that we have enough parking for our growing town -- and we definitely want the input from the professionals on that," Matt Modrack, DDA executive director said. "They stated what everybody knows -- that at night, parking's a problem, especially in certain areas."
Preliminary sketches from Lindhout Associates show the potential for 165 spaces in a four-level structure on the half-acre property.
The agreement will also allow a reasonable time period for current tenants to relocate if the DDA decides to go through with the project.