Springfield pushes ahead with multi-million dollar parking project

Plans to build a new, roughly $7 million downtown parking garage are moving ahead in Springfield and potential contractors who will build the facility could be interviewed this month, city officials said.

Springfield city officials are planning to interview three Ohio firms who responded to a recent request for proposal the week of Nov. 12, said Bryan Heck, Springfield’s deputy city manager. The project has been discussed for several years as a way to provide additional parking downtown as the city works to attract more retail and business to the city center.

RELATED: SpringForward looks to spark interest from vendors in downtown market 

The site at the corner of Fountain Avenue and Columbia Street is now a city-owned parking lot. The plan is to build a two- to three-story structure with between approximately 275 to 325 parking spaces, Heck said.

“It’s just continuing the momentum of the revitalization of downtown,” he said.

The three firms to be interviewed include Dugan and Meyers and Elford, Inc., both based in Columbus. Thomas and Marker Construction, the third firm, is based in Bellefontaine.

DETAILS: Springfield leaders re-evaluating $9.75M parking garage plan

The design phase is expected to begin early next year and construction could start as early as April, Heck said.

Members of the Community Improvement Corp. of Clark County voted Thursday to approve $1 million in funding for the project, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the CIC. The funding actually comes from the county, but the money had to pass through the CIC for legal purposes.

Springfield also contributed $3 million to the project, while the State of Ohio is chipping in about $2.55 million in capital funding, Heck said.

MORE: City pushes forward on parking garage

Retail space will also be available on the ground level along Fountain Avenue, he said.

The city has enough parking now, he said, but Heck said the garage is a proactive move to ensure spaces are available as businesses take a closer look at downtown.

The new garage is just the latest in several investments that have been made in downtown Springfield in recent years. Preliminary construction is underway at the Myers Market building at 101 S. Fountain Ave., where local officials are working to identify potential vendors for a new public market.

SpringForward, a local nonprofit with a mission to target investment in downtown Springfield’s, is taking the lead on that project. Michael Greitzer, executive director for SpringForward, recently told the News-Sun the site will include a year-round artisan’s marketplace, shared kitchen and food hall, and event space for small local businesses and individuals.

Various entities have invested in several other projects downtown over the past several years, including the National Trail Parks and Recreation District Chiller Ice Arena, the downtown hospital, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., and improvements to Fountain Avenue.

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