Friday, July 11, 2014

Opposing Parking

When the Paramount theatre was still standing it seemed like a real shame that it might be torn down to make way for a parking lot.  Now the building is gone, and City Council is opposing a non-dropped plan by the Parking Commission to develop the site with surface parking.

I understand the argument that it would be great if someone developed a building on the property that improved the streetscape and tax base.  I get the fear that by allowing an owner to generate revenue by renting parking may dampen the owner’s desire to develop the site further.

On the other hand, if the owner is unable to generate revenue from the site with parking, he may be motivated to take the first development opportunity that comes along.  If that is the case, the owner may not make the best use of the site. If the owner is not making money with the vacant land, he may decide to cut his loses and put up something that makes sense today but not for the long term.

Hopefully someone comes along with a solid plan for the site, because owning an empty lot that isn’t generating revenue is not that attractive a business model.

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This is the account used for updating the Urban Plans for Saint John Blog.