A 27-space public parking lot has opened at 212 E. Cedar St., as part of the town’s efforts to offer more parking options amid ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.
It’s free to park in the lot, which is a quarter-mile east of the intersection of Academy and Chatham streets. Downtown visitors already are using it when frequenting surrounding establishments like Bond Brothers Beer Company.
A 25,000-square-foot, three-story brick office and retail space on East Chatham Street that, once completed, will house businesses like Pizzeria Faulisi and The Design Response, a land planning and urban design firm, also will benefit.
Ted Boyd, the Cary’s downtown development manager, said the town hopes that these types of parking options will help encourage people to park once before enjoying multiple downtown businesses.
“They may start at Bond Brothers (Beer Company), but they may end up at Crosstown (Pub & Grill) or Academy Street Bistro and then come back (to the parking lot),” he said.
About $630,000 was budgeted for the Cedar Street parking lot project – for building demolition, design and construction – when the Cary Town Council approved the lot on June 11, 2015. But town staff now anticipate it will come in 70 percent under budget.
By the end of the year, the lot will connect to the East Chatham office and retail building that is under construction, which is expected to be completed in early December. Vehicles will be able to access the connected parking areas from either East Cedar Street or East Chatham Street.
Because of significant public and private investments downtown, including The Cary theater, Pharmacy Bottle and Beverage and a proposed $51 million mixed-use development, the Cary Town Council has been more interested in partnership opportunities to provide more parking options in the area, including parking decks.
Downtown Cary only has one parking deck, which is near Town Hall Campus at 121 Wilkinson Ave., but plans in the works for two more, including a 350-space parking deck near the corner of Walnut Street and Kildaire Farm Road to be built in conjunction with Wake County’s new regional library. Cary is contributing about $7.75 million for this parking deck and its integrated public art.
The town also has set aside $5 million for construction of a 466-space parking deck, stormwater facilities, surface parking and access roads for the $51 million development near the southeast corner of West Chatham Street and South Harrison Avenue.
“I think one of the pieces we are working on downtown is adding more things for people to do when they make a trip downtown,” Boyd said.
He added that the town ultimately would like to see parking no more than a quarter-mile away from any downtown business.
Other free parking options in downtown Cary include street parking on Chatham Street, the Cary Town Hall parking garage, the Cary Depot lot, the Cary Arts Center lot and the South Walker Street lot near the intersection of Walnut Street.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon