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City advances plans for parking garage

Commissioners ask about attractiveness, safety of building

Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2007

Juneau city planners are working on how to make a new 380-car parking garage on Main Street attractive and integrate some leasable commercial space on the ground floor.

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The Juneau Planning Commission received an update Tuesday night on plans for the garage, aimed at relieving congested on-street parking downtown. The budget for the project, which will include a transit center, is $11 to $16 million. The garage is tentatively planned for land up the hill from the intersection of Main Street and Egan Drive near the stairwell to Telephone Hill.

Public meeting

• What: Presentation by City Planner Rorie Watt on a new downtown parking garage.

• When: Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.

• Where: Assembly chambers.

Juneau city planners are working on how to make a new 380-car parking garage on Main Street attractive and integrate some leasable commercial space on the ground floor.

"For this project to be acceptable, a large component of it would have to be multi-use and the facade would have to have something nice on the outside," Commissioner Marshal Kendziorek said. "It can't look like a garage from any viewpoint other than perhaps the entryway."

He pushed for a series of small businesses on the ground level, which would keep the area well-lit and safer.

"This could become a central focus for our town if we build it right and if we build it attractively," Kendziorek said.

Commissioner Nancy Waterman also pushed for commercial space, and safe and secure bicycle storage.

Other commissioners also asked questions about the safety, attractiveness and layout of the garage. They also inquired about the health of the public transit system.

Several architectural renderings will be available on the city Web site later this week. Another consideration is preserving a space for a future capitol, city Planner Rorie Watt said.

A public information meeting on the garage plans will be held Sept. 26 in the Juneau Assembly chambers. Questions and comments will be taken at that meeting, Watt said.



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