[JK: Ryan McMahon, the executive director of the City Center, was kind enough to write a brief history of the Center’s efforts to build a parking facility. For some of us it seems like the saga went on forever but the controversy and debate over plans for this site began in earnest five years ago.
It is a testament to both Mayor Kelly and to Ryan that they managed to bring together the players and work out a plan with strong support from the major stakeholders. Our ordeal is over.
Thank you Mayor Kelly and Ryan McMahon. Hallelujah!]
Photo Credit: Richard Snyder, Vice President, Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce
From left to right: Dorothy Rogers-Bullis, Shaun Wiggins, Rosemary Ratliff, Commissioner Skip Scirocco, Commissioner Michele Madigan, Mayor Meg Kelly, Ryan McMahon, Tom Roohan, and Commissioner Peter Martin.
Ms. Rogers-Bullis, in addition to being on the Center board, along with her husband Dan Bullis runs Saratoga Co Works.
Rosemary Ratliff is on the board and works for Kaiser Permanente.
Shaun Wiggins is on the board and is a consultant focused on security and IT issues.
Tom Roohan of Roohan Realty chairs the City Center Board
Ryan McMahon’s brief history
“The Saratoga Springs City Center Authority had been working towards the development of a parking solution almost since the facility opened. Work in earnest began in 2014 when an RFP for a design build proposal was developed, this lead to the previous parking structure project. Public opposition and eventual lawsuits ended the pursuit of the that design and we all took a step back to reevaluate. Mayor Kelly, understanding the importance of the City Center continuing to be competitive in a crowded convention market, invited the Authority to participate in her Flat Rock Working Group. The Flat Rock Working Group consisted of many local stake holders, including the owners of the Mouzon House, and was tasked with creating a concept for the entire lot.
The City Council reviewed the plans created by the Flat Rock Working Group and liked the overall idea but thought it’s 750ish parking spots was too much. Around the same time the lightning strike at city hall also took place so many city resources were focused on that. The City Center was asked to advance plans for the northern portion of the lot which would become phase one of development. Mayor Kelly planned to bring the Flat Rock group back together for phase two at a later date. The northern portion was to accommodate the Green Belt Trail, additional park space and parking for the City Center and the community.
The City Center brought this plan back to our design build team who developed the current project. This phase brings the Green Belt Trail to Lake Avenue, contains park/green space and houses a 600 +/- parking structure. The plans were reviewed for advisory opinions by the Planning Board and Design Review before the lease was developed and adopted by the City Council. Construction will take ten to eleven months with the goal of opening the lower floors for August of 2020.”
3 thoughts on “City Center Breaks Ground On Parking Facility– Hallelujah!”
Mayor Kelly and others deserve praise for putting together an acceptable plan for the much needed City Center parking garage. Thank you to Meg, Ryan McMahon and everyone else who made this possible. A successful City Center is a vital part of the formula for our vibrant downtown.
Thankfully, the proposals from a few years ago, to sell the entire High Rock lot to a private developer who would then set aside parking for the City Center in their large commercial and residential complex, basically an inner-City mall, fell through.
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Concerns about parking downtown, during the construction phase of the new parking garage. That’s a lot of cars that will have to find a new space, some for all day parking, which is scarce.
Observing the photo (thanks JK) it appears that some hands, indeed, “do not fit on a shovel.” And Mr. Roohan says, I’m not even going to lift the shovel.
Wondering: Where were Mark Baker and Joe Dalton? Both were involved, for years, during the planning stages of the parking garage.