Local News

Downtown Raleigh Could Be Home to More Parking Places

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RALEIGH — If you've ever tried to park in downtown Raleigh in the middle of the day, you know lots fill up quickly and curbside spaces are virtually nonexistent.

First Unionis considering a solution. The banking company has the second-largest office tower in the downtown area, and they're looking at doing some building.

First Union is considering building a five-story parking deck with hundreds of new spaces. The parking deck would be built in their existing street-level lot at the corner of Hargett and Wilmington streets. The current lot has about 100 spots.

Hundreds of people work in First Union's downtown office tower, but very few parking spaces are available for them. Trying to find spots downtown can be nearly impossible at times, so First Union is in the early stages of planning a 740-space lot on top of its existing lot.

People who struggle to find spaces downtown every day say it would be a welcome addition.

"It'll be absolutely perfect for downtown. I wish more companies would look at doing that," caterer Bart Carmichael says. "Because it'll bring business for First Union and for everybody downtown, because that's the biggest problem right now is parking. I mean you park three blocks away to get to where you need to be."

"It gets to be a hassle having to move your car every half hour rather every thirty minutes, every hour and then, at the maximum, every two hours. I'm constantly jockeying for a parking space," said Otis Harris, clothing store employee.

First Union says the plan is in the early stages so it's hard to say when the deck would be available. Many of the spaces would be reserved during the day for the people who work in the First Union building. There may also be some public spaces available.

The deck would take some pressure off of other downtown lots during the day. In addition, the president of First Union Raleigh tells WRAL the lots would be open to the public in the evening and on weekends.

The city of Raleigh is also working on a 869-spaceparking deckthat's supposed to be ready in the year 2000.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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