Downtown Memphis has more than 49,000 parking spaces, but is that enough, and are they the right places to accommodate growth?
Officials intend to find out with a comprehensive Downtown parking study measuring the quantity and quality of current offerings and forecasting future demand.
The City of Memphis, Downtown Memphis Commission and Downtown Parking Authority on Friday jointly issued a request for qualifications for consultant to lead the study.
The result will be a parking master plan designed to guide public investments in a Downtown parking system over the next 15 years. Target completion date is April.
It’s been at least a decade since Downtown’s inventory of garage and surface lot spaces was studied, and that was only to come up with a current capacity. The city studied street parking issues in 2012 as part of an upgrade of parking meters to take credit cards.
“High-quality, convenient and affordable public parking is an important part of supporting a growing Downtown,” Downtown commission vice president of planning and development Brett Roler said.
“The DMC looks for strategic opportunities to use public parking as a catalyst for unlocking the development potential of vacant buildings and underutilized properties. Adding new density and supporting redevelopment and investment Downtown is a high priority for the DMC.”
The commission counts about 47,600 spaces including 26,000 uncovered/surface lot spaces and 21,500 covered/garage spaces. The city’s 2012 study identified about 1,500 street parking spaces.
The consultant will be asked to estimate the number of new, structured parking spaces needed to meet current and future demand and recommend priority areas for new parking structures.
Interim president Jennifer Oswalt said, “The results of the Downtown Parking Study will help the Downtown Parking Authority make better future decisions for how best to leverage public parking as a tool to attract investment, increase density and support future development Downtown.”