COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council unanimously passed a bill Monday evening authorizing the acquisition of property on Short Street for the construction of a parking garage.
The garage is to be built in conjunction with the hotel development at the site of the Regency Hotel.
A franchise agreement has been approved with Hilton Hotels Corp. to construct a 114-room hotel dubbed “The Broadway” on the site, Dave Parmley of Broadway Lodging said Friday.
Parmley said his inspiration for the hotel came from the other DoubleTree hotels that have adopted a boutique style, including “The Wit” in Chicago, “Hotel Maya” in Long Beach, Calif., and “The Curtis” in Denver.
About $13,000 has been spent on development of the garage so far, but city staff projects the total cost will be about $9.2 million.
Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl said he was concerned about the changing cost of the garage. According to a previous Missourian article, the projected cost in March was $7 million.
“The number keeps moving around, and we don’t know how much we need to raise,” Kespohl said.
Mayor Bob McDavid said the council would maintain interest in the size of the garage, whether retail stores are a part of it, and whether Short Street will be blocked off or run through the garage.
A bill that would raise downtown parking meter rates to pay for the garage was tabled and will be taken up June 20.
The council unanimously amended the bill before it was tabled. The measure would now:
- Double the fees at downtown street meters from 30 cents to 60 cents per hour.
- Increase the fees at meters near MU from 50 cents to 75 cents per hour.
- Raise the cost of surface lot permits from $40 to $50 per month.
- Establish free parking on Saturdays in all city garages.
- Charge $35 per month for permits in the Fifth and Walnut streets garage from July 1 to Dec. 31.
The changes would raise $760,000 in revenue per year, including revenues generated from spaces in garages based on a 75 percent occupancy assumption, according to city staff.