Crestview eyes downtown space for public parking
CRESTVIEW — The City Council took a major step Monday toward the potential reconfiguration of many angled parking spots along Main Street and the addition of a large public parking lot downtown.
With that vision in mind, the board gave Crestview City Manager Tim Bolduc and City Attorney Jonathan Holloway the green light to negotiate the purchase of two parcels and part of a third parcel downtown for a planned 84-space, free-to-park lot.
The parcels total about 1 acre and are bounded by State Road 85 to the east, Woodruff Avenue to the north, Desi’s Downtown Restaurant and Main Street to the west and Industrial Drive to the south.
“Right now, people park in angled spots downtown” on Main Street, Bolduc said Tuesday. “We want a good, safe parking area without vehicles backing out into traffic.”
By Feb. 15, the city intends to close on the not to exceed $600,000 purchase of the parcels from Crestview Investment Co. LLC. The company’s manager is J.D. Wingard Jr., according to records from the Florida Division of Corporations.
Money for the purchase would come from the city’s unreserved fund balance.
The city’s master plan “will likely recommend we change the angled parking downtown, so this purchase would ensure we don’t lose parking overall," Bolduc said. "We don’t have a lot of space on Main Street. We want a walkable community with wider sidewalks and we’re looking to switch some, but not all, of the angled parking spaces to parallel spaces.”
The city’s offer to buy the approximately 1-acre property includes a stipulation that requires Wingard to repair and paint the exterior of the large adjacent building that includes Desi’s.
The property for the planned parking lot currently contains three buildings. One of the structures is a one-story apartment building that has about half a dozen units. A few units are occupied with tenants and the others are boarded up.
After the city closes on the potential purchase, Crestview Investment Co. officials would be given 90 days to vacate that building, which is accessed from Woodruff Avenue. Plans call for the structure to be demolished and some nearby trees to be cleared to make way for the parking lot.
Following the completion of the city’s master plan, Crestview officials would decide whether two small vacant buildings facing Industrial Drive would stay or be removed to create a larger parking lot, Bolduc said.
The lot would be accessed from Woodruff Avenue and from a new entrance off Industrial Drive.
Bolduc said city officials plan to create a temporary parking lot on the property later this year. The permanent parking lot, which would be a part of the bigger implementation of the city’s mobility study that aims to improve how people move around downtown, would be created during the next couple of years, he said.
The City Council on Monday also gave Bolduc and Holloway permission to negotiate the purchase of about 45 acres that stand adjacent to the city sewer plant on Arena Road. This land, which also is owned by the Crestview Investment Company, would provide the plant with more room for waste disposal.
The staff received the council’s permission to make a formal offer to purchase the property for an amount not to exceed $9,500 per acre, for a potential total cost of about $427,500.
Funding for the purchase would come from the city’s utility fund and/or local option half-cent sales tax revenue. Like the parcels for the planned parking lot, Crestview officials intend to close on the purchase by Feb. 15, Bolduc said.