As I was writing yesterday’s post on parking, I remembered that the upcoming mixed-use building at 63 East Center St. actually has some rather specific parking provisions. According to Redevelopment Agency documents, the building will have roughly 44 units, along with parking in the Wells Fargo structure immediately to the north.
Staff proposes that the RDA designate 80 of the 204 stalls in the Wells Fargo parking structure for lease to the 63 East developer. The use of these stalls is an incentive to the developer, but it is an incentive to RDA committed to in 2003 which finally will bear fruit today by bringing new development downtown.
Because the parking structure is helping bring this new building into town I’m glad it’s there. My understanding is that the 80 stalls are merely available to the developer, not necessarily required. (I could be wrong though.)
In any case, I found it interesting that officials are allocating nearly two possible parking spots per housing unit. This is despite the fact that the building is located in a highly walkable neighborhood and near public transit. And as yesterday’s post notes, younger people are driving less and less. I also wrote posts in March on how both older and young people aren’t driving as much as they used to.
This isn’t necessarily a problem so much as a curiosity. Based on the documents, it sounds like using the Wells Fargo parking structure for this new building is one of the things that will make it happen. Moreover, it sounds like Provo invested considerable money into the structure, so as the quote above indicates that investment is finally about to “bear fruit.”
Still, I think two parking stalls per dwelling, especially in downtown, will prove to be unnecessary over the long term. If you read all the links in this post or do a little independent research you’ll find that many experts believe there is genuinely a sustainable trend away from driving, especially among Millennials. And keep in mind that Millennials are people in their early 30s to mid 20s right now. More generally, the logical types of people that may choose to live in this building — young professionals, small families, retirees and empty nesters — seem to align with those who will be one-car households.
In any case, 63 E. Center will apparently be an experiment in parking demand. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out.