As the city of Delaware awaits a permanent solution for its recently purchased properties on Spring Street, the lack of parking downtown could soon be getting a temporary boost. During Monday’s meeting of Delaware City Council, an ordinance was considered that would turn one of the parcels into a public parking lot while the city weighs its redevelopment options.
Once on track to become the site of a downtown hotel, the city purchased four properties along Spring Street last August after plans for the hotel fell through as a result of the pandemic. The properties include the former NAPA auto parts property, the auto repair shop property, and two adjacent properties that are currently vacant lots. The city purchased the four parcels for $750,000, the minimum bid set by the auctioneers, and was the only bidder to bid on all four parcels.
On an interim basis, the city is considering turning one of the parcels into a 20-space parking lot that would be free for all to use. The lot would be the vacant space west of the former NAPA building, which will eventually be demolished along with the former auto repair shop. Two more vacant lots sit across from the two buildings on the north side of Spring Street.
“Prior to the redevelopment of this property, staff believes it would be a good use to create 20 public parking spaces with close access to the downtown,” Assistant City Manager Kyle Kridler said during Monday’s meeting. “We’re working internally to evaluate the length of time to make these spaces available. Our initial thinking is to have them be free and be open for four-hour time slots.”
Kridler said it “seems like a no-brainer” to use the lot for additional public parking as an interim use for residents and visitors to the city.
No action was taken to approve the temporary parking lot due to the city’s code requiring the ordinance be given a second reading and a public hearing. The second reading will be held at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, May 10.
According to the ordinance, Delaware’s Public Works Department has already begun preparing the lot, and if approved, will stripe the spaces and establish the proper signage. Community Affairs will also work to communicate this newly added temporary parking lot to the public once it is ready for use.