New and connected parking lots approved for crowded Uptown area in Centerville

City says plan will be better than the individual separated lots that exist now; work to begin this year

Centerville is set to launch the first phases of a project aimed at improving parking in its growing Uptown area.

The city will create a connected public parking lot of 100 spaces behind businesses on the north side of West Franklin Street (addresses from 89 through 133 W. Franklin). That will allow motorists to pass “seamlessly” through lots, simplifying their routes and relieving some traffic on roads, city officials said.

Centerville also will construct a public parking lot with 43 spaces across the street at 98 W. Franklin St. on the south side.

The parking updates are part of Centerville’s Uptown Action Plan, which highlights six focus areas: improving walkability and reducing traffic congestion, improving parking, scheduling and organizing new events, focusing on business development, developing branding and increasing green space.

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“It’s vital for the Uptown Action Plan to kick off the process of helping traffic circulation on West Franklin Street and providing more public parking and connected public parking,” Joey O’Brien, economic development administrator and interim city planner, told this news outlet Friday. “It helps so we don’t have a bunch of individual, separated lots where the business is, but instead have a combined parking lot where you can park once and walk to any business or restaurant or office in the district there.”

The parking revamp is part of a bigger concept plan, one that seeks to connect parking along West Franklin to North Main Street and then north along both sides of that road, O’Brien said.

Estimated cost of construction is $2.6 million, he said.

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Through a public process starting this week, companies will bid to complete the northern and southern lots. City council will award a contract in May or June, and construction will likely begin in late spring and wrap up later this year, O’Brien said.

Some of the biggest interest city officials have seen regarding the new parking has been from the restaurants coming to the city, including Manna Restaurant & Bar at 57-59 and 63 W. Franklin St. (spring opening), Agave & Rye at 11 N. Main St. (early summer opening) and Brunch Pub at 101 W. Franklin St., O’Brien said.

The city’s Board of Architectural Review approved the parking project for the north side of West Franklin Street on Tuesday, while the city’s Planning Commission signed off on a major site plan for the soon-to-be parking lot property at 98 W. Franklin on Feb. 28.

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