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Front Page » Top Stories » Parking Authority May Provide Spaces For Workforce Housing Downtown

Parking Authority May Provide Spaces For Workforce Housing Downtown

www.miamitodaynews.com
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Written by on August 17, 2006

By Deserae del Campo
The Miami Parking Authority is working on a plan to provide up to 600 parking spaces in a city garage on Northeast Third Street for developers who would build workforce housing in the Central Business District.

Art Noriega, executive director of the parking authority, is working on criteria for developers to get spaces in the College Station Garage, 190 NE Third St., for residents of their buildings. Authority board members approved the initiative last month.

"Workforce housing is an important initiative for the City of Miami, and they enlisted our support since parking is obviously a critical factor in making it a reality," said Fred Bredemeyer, deputy executive director of operations for the authority.

The parking board agreed to make some spaces available for workforce-housing projects in general "subject to certain criteria that have yet to be finalized," said Mr. Bredemeyer.

Mr. Noriega said guidelines will be completed and publicized within two weeks.

Meanwhile, city commissioners last month passed an ordinance that would free developers from providing resident parking for Central Business District developments built within 600 feet of a transit station.

"The intent of this ordinance is to eliminate the parking requirements in the Central Business District area only – and only for residential requirements, not for other uses," said Luciana Gonzalez, special projects coordinator with the city planning department. "If a project is located within 600 feet of a rapid-transit station, it is not going to be required of them to provide parking for residential use."

It doesn’t mean parking is not allowed, she said. "It’s just not going to be required, so this way, the market is going to determine if a developer can build his project with parking. But he’s not going to be bound to any number by the city."

Ms. Gonzalez said the Central Business District provides mass-transit opportunities and is where the city wants to begin encouraging more use of mass transit and less reliance on automobiles.

Mr. Noriega said he is concerned about developers breaking deals with the parking authority, which is why he wants to develop a criteria so developers don’t "back out of building workforce-housing projects in the city."

Under the procurement process, the developer would foot the bill for parking for one year before a resident would have to pay $110.75 monthly to use a parking space. The resident would be provided a garage-access card.

"This is a procurement process to open up spaces for developers that meet the criteria as stipulated in the board’s resolution," said Mr. Noriega. "The process applies to any development that meets the criteria for the spaces as long as there is supply."