CRESTVIEW Motorists may soon have more room for parking.



A new parking lot will be situated near the corner of Railroad Avenue and Wilson Street, across the railroad tracks from Crestview City Hall. The lot will also provide parking for the new Florida A&M Rural Diversity Healthcare Center.



"We are getting the contracts finalized," city engineer Fred Cook said.



Utility Solutions Group, of Defuniak Springs, will be responsible for the project, Cook said, adding, "The contract limits the contractor to 90 days to have the project completed.



The plans call for 79 parking spaces spanning 1.10 acres, Cook said.



The city purchased the lot last year from Crestview Property Services LLC, which attorney and county commissioner-elect Nathan Boyles and his family members co-own. The city council voted to pay the company $102,500 for the property.



The development comes after four years of unsuccessful attempts to secure land for the project.



In December of 2010, the city interested in purchasing property on East Woodruff Avenue made a $1 million dollar offer to a local banker, who owned a .76-acre lot. According to a newspaper article, the lot would have provided 82 parking spaces. The city was going to use $750,000 from a Community Development Block Grant, plus $250,000 in matching funds from the Community Redevelopment Agency.



That plan fell through when the property owner raised the price and eventually removed the offer to sell the property.



In April of 2011, the council considered buying a quarter-acre at 378 Woodruff Ave. However, after numerous discussions with the owner, the council decided not to pursue the property further.