Future of Truckee’s parking looks vertical | SierraSun.com

Future of Truckee’s parking looks vertical

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

The town of Truckee is considering putting a parking structure downtown ” but it’s not just about the parking.

At its Nov. 16 meeting, Town Council approved a grant request for a study of downtown’s potential parking structure sites. The first location under consideration is the current post office site on Bridge Street, while a number of other locations along Jibboom Street will be considered as alternatives.

If the town receives the $35,000 state grant, it would be used to hire a consultant to prepare a feasibility study on a parking structure as early as February.

If the study indicates a parking structure is feasible, the project could begin at the post office location at the end of it’s lease, which should be in about three to five years, said David Griffith, the town’s redevelopment and housing coordinator.

“The property owner was concerned at first about eminent domain, but I said ‘we don’t go there,'” Griffith said. “He was open to selling it or creating a long-term lease.”

Without any unforeseen problems, a parking structure could be complete in six to eight years, Griffith said.

A parking structure would not just be used to add parking spaces, but also increase “infill” development along Jibboom Street.

“The study is not just about the parking structure,” Griffith said, “It’s a chance to improve the surrounding property.”

Griffith said the post office site was ideal not only for its proximity to downtown, but because of the height of surrounding buildings: a three-story structure would “fit the elevation” of the area better.

“I don’t like the other Jibboom street locations as much because they are more one-story residential neighborhoods, and a three-story structure wouldn’t fit as well,” Griffith said.

The proposed structure at the post office site would be three stories and include more than 300 parking spots, and possibly 5,000 square feet of retail space

“wrapped” along the sides of the ground floor, Griffith said.

In conjunction with the parking structure, a one-acre vacant parcel just north of the structure on Jibboom Street would also be developed with about 10,000 square feet of retail and possibly a hotel, Griffith said.

Griffith said that development on Jibboom would create a “walk-able loop” for shoppers to browse along Commercial Row, Bridge and Jibboom Streets.

Kelly Beede, Truckee parking services manager, said a parking structure would provide more long-term parking for downtown.

“The potential use will be from hotels, infill on Jibboom and the Railyard,” Beede said.

She said it was too far out to say whether the structure would use paid parking or

not.

Existing long-term parking includes the fire station lot and the lot east of the Beacon gas station, Beede said, but covered parking in a structure would eliminate the need for snow removal, an added benefit for long-term parking.

The parking structure study is being coordinated by the Truckee Redevelopment Agency.

The Redevelopment Agency’s purpose is to implement projects and programs to encourage economic development and housing within the Redevelopment Project Area, which covers 1,000 acres including Commercial Row and surrounding areas, Hilltop, Railyard, along the river, the Gateway area on Donner Pass Road and Planned Community One at Coldstream.

Projects include public infrastructure improvements, “infill” development, and affordable housing.