The City Council is moving forward with a new parking garage downtown.
The about 800-space parking deck will be built on an existing surface parking lot along West Morgan Street between Rigsbee Avenue and North Mangum Street.
On Monday the City Council approved contracts for engineering services (up to $343,2000) with Falcon Engineering, construction management ($115,000) with Balfour Beatty Construction, and design services (up to more than $2 million) with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.
Earlier this year, elected leaders had various conversations about whether to include affordable housing in the deck, which city staffers said would delay the project about two years.
For years, the city had been planning the deck with space for retail businesses and offices and an opening date in the summer of 2018. City officials, however, started exploring whether it would be feasible to include affordable housing following a proposal by a local developer.
Business owners and downtown advocates responded to the consideration, urging the city move forward with the current plan to address a lack of parking downtown.
Ultimately, city officials were advised to move forward while continuing to explore incorporating affordable housing.
Little will begin the design phase by developing conceptual alternatives and pricing for the original and affordable housing option. The design team will present options within two months after receiving their notice to proceed.
Bonfield said the additional services will cost the city up to $30,000.