Durham News

Durham’s Ninth Street merchants drop effort to sublease parking lot

Ninth Street merchants are dropping their effort to sublease a private parking lot the city rents, according to a small-business owner on the street.

Michael Bell, owner of Hunky Dory, a record and smoke shop, and others were working to obtain monthly funding commitments from building and business owners on the east side of the street to sublease a 45-space lot that the city started charging parkers a $1 per hour to use about a year ago. Fees apply 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

However, at a meeting Tuesday morning, the merchants decided to instead use the owners’ funding commitments for marketing the street and creating a sign saying that some Ninth Street merchants would cover the cost of parking.

“We just want to market Ninth Street for what it is, and it is a great destination,” Bell said. Bell said he would likely reinburse customers by taking a dollar off their purchase when they show their parking stub.

The decision was partly based on the fact that representatives of the Shops at Erwin Mill indicated they planned to continue to tow rogue parkers who weren’t visiting the businesses in the recently redeveloped shopping center on the west side of the street, Bell said.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges