Downtown Councilor Jason Farr is touting an idea to attract downtown development by offering up some of the City’s parking lots.
While the idea of new development sounds like a great idea, I’m not sure that this is the best way to get there.
Farr describes some of the City owned Parking lots as ‘underused’ and that may be true right now.
But a consultants report from a few months ago suggested that Hamilton’s downtown will face a parking shortage in the next 8-10 years.
What do we do then.. knock down more buildings to make up the shortfall ? Of course not !
And, how would struggling merchants feel if potential customers pass on the downtown because of a lack of parking ?
Let’s not forget that the majority of shoppers or employees for downtown businesses live on the Central Mountain or Ancaster and Stoney Creek and if you want them downtown, you’d better supply affordable parking.
Farr’s vision of some kind of commercial development on these lots with parking on the ground floor sounds wonderful, but developers have told me that it’s costly, and the likelihood of seeing that happen is pretty slim.
Of course, if the downtown Councilor is sincere in trying to attract further development in the core, he might consider getting out of the way of the investors who already own property and are trying to develop it.
Just sayin’ !