New parking lot coming soon to Avon
AVON — Citing an incipient parking problem in town, council members this week voted in favor of leasing a new lot on town-owned land near Christy Sports.
The lot will be built and maintained by Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, who owns much of the commercial property in town east of Avon Road. Hoffmann will hold a 99-year lease on the land and will build the parking lot for an estimated $150,000, according to the ordinance, which passed on second reading Tuesday. The ordinance also states the town is welcome to take back the lot at any time, provided they pay the construction cost, which will be capped at a $150,000.
“This is, in my personal opinion, a win-win,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jennie Fancher. “We get more parking, it doesn’t cost us and any time we want we can have our property back.”
Fancher also said, however, that it’s hard to imagine that piece of property ever being anything other than a parking lot.
“I’m not saying that it couldn’t be something else down the road, but what I’m saying is we need parking. If anybody has spent time in Avon lately, and gone out to dinner at the Boxcar or Vin48, or Montana’s, you know the parking lots are full. People are eating, people are shopping — people are in Avon.”
Also, Fancher added, “I guarantee you with the cost that construction projects are coming in at, this project will cost a lot more than $150,000 to build.”
A LOT OF OPINIONS
Other council members didn’t share Fancher’s opinion on the lot.
On first reading Carroll, citing council member Buz Reynolds — who wasn’t present at the time — said he thinks Hoffmann will end up taking out the cost of the parking lot out on businesses renting space from the company.
“Rents are going up on renewal of the lease,” he said.
Fancher said businesses stand a lot to gain on the deal.
“If there’s parking, there are people. The people are shopping. The people are eating,” she said.
Regardless, it seemed the company had the four votes necessary to go through with the deal, Carroll noted in early discussion on the matter, assuming they got into compliance on other issues.
PAINTING VS. PARKING
Recently, Hoffmann took it upon themselves to repaint a handful of town-owned benches and a garbage can, which the town deemed to be a code violation. Since Avon was already hard at work painting other benches in their nearby pedestrian mall project, workers agreed to round up the out-of-compliance benches, repaint them and charge Hoffmann the cost.
It came out to $500 per bench.
Also, “the garbage can is $300,” said Town Manager Virginia Egger.
“To paint a garbage can?” asked Mayor Rich Carroll.
“I see Jake (Wolf) getting out his paint brush,” Fancher joked.
Wolf confirmed he would approve the license agreement for the parking lot assuming Hoffmann got back into compliance. On second reading, he was informed that the check was in the mail. The parking lot passed 4-3, with Carroll, Reynolds and Gennett voting against it.
The lot will host 28 parking spaces. Construction is expected to begin soon.
“It’s now or never, another fast-paced project to get built this winter,” said Town Manager Virginia Egger.
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