REDDING, Calif.- The Redding Town Center Parking Lot is now officially open after the Redding Chamber of Commerce hosted it with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new five-story structure has 400 parking spaces, double what the McConnell Foundation thought it could build.
It also has electric vehicle charging stations on several levels, access by stairs and elevator and solar panels on the top floor.
Action News Now has spoken to several companies who are delighted the structure is complete after 19 months of construction.
Jay Abraham owns Abe’s Mercerie downtown and hopes the new parking lot will make it easier for his customers to enjoy downtown.
“Overall, I think it’s a benefit for all small businesses,” Abraham said. “The city has invested a lot of money in the development of this downtown area, so we are delighted. He can’t do anything but help us.
In recognition of the community’s patience, parking is free until June 1st.
After the free parking period ends, people will have to pay $1 an hour, a rate the Redding Chamber of Commerce says is comparable to towns like Chico.
Redding Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jake Mangas told Action News Now that paid parking will help open up more spaces in the downtown core.
“One of the things we heard from downtown businesses, especially first-floor businesses, is that they were concerned about the lack of turnover because people could park for free anywhere in a downtown surface street and stay there all day,” Mangas said. . “So creating paid parking alternatives helps create that revenue and gets people around so they can get in and out of that business or restaurant.”
Construction around the parking lot is not yet complete, so people cannot walk from the parking lot to downtown at this time.
People will have to walk on a blocked off portion of California Street before reaching businesses at the Placer Street intersection.
The McConnel Foundation hopes to have a gateway open in the near future.
Some companies have told Action News Now they are not concerned about the current march.
Many business owners, like Amber Treat, owner of Shop Around the Corner Books, have said that parking is one of the biggest problems downtown and that this garage should be a big help.
“Construction is still ongoing, so access from the parking lot to Butte St. where I am is not direct,” Treat said. “I just can’t wait to get all the construction done so people can walk straight from the garage to my store.”
“Walking a few blocks to get where you need to go isn’t insurmountable,” Mangas said. “We know there are options for people to park closer to the businesses they want to go to, and paid parking helps facilitate that. We recognize that not everyone has the physical ability to walk a few blocks.
Action News Now asked Abraham if this new structure would make a difference to his business.
“We all hope so. I think so, absolutely. The more people we can bring into town and have an easier parking situation, which will definitely increase traffic,” Abraham said.
You can now enter the California Street parking lot near Yuba Street.