Traverse City, DDA Discuss Adding Parking Structure on West Front Street

If you’ve ever been to Traverse City, you probably know the pain of finding a parking spot.

The shopping, dining and browsing is fun but finding somewhere to park your car is frustrating.

Parking spots are in short supply, and now, the city and Downtown Development Authority are talking about adding a new parking deck to alleviate some of the pain.

They’re planning a new lot at 145 West Front Street that could add between 370-436 more spaces to an end of town four blocks away from the Hardy Parking Deck.

DDA CEO Jean Derenzy says adding a deck would help maximize land use downtown by reducing the reliance on surface parking, especially on the Lower Boardman.

“The goal is really to eliminate the parking on our river,” said Derenzy. “This deck would be the last deck that we would have.”

Derenzy says the city has lost parking recently because of ongoing construction. In the west part of downtown past Union Street, more than 150 spots have been eliminated because of construction projects.

The city and DDA are going to poll citizens about what they’d like to see in a new parking deck and what concerns, or ideas, they have about the project.

Using that feedback, they’ll be able to choose a final design iteration for the project and bid it out to begin construction.

For Traverse City resident Pete Keeney, any kind of addition of parking would help. He has a disabled tag on his car and struggles to find enough handicap spots downtown.

“It’s not just a shortage on the handicap spots it’s a shortage in parking,” said Keeney. “I personally would welcome the sight of another parking deck here.”

The construction of the new deck could take a few years.

It will cost between $14 to $16.3 million and will be paid for using the city’s Tax Increment Financing 1997 plan and possibly a bond.