Coeur d’Alene becomes third Idaho city to build public parking garage
January 22, 2018
Coeur d’Alene started construction in December on the city’s first parking garage, a 360-space downtown structure along Coeur d’Alene Avenue between Third and Fourth streets.
Coeur d’Alene will be only the third city in Idaho with a public garage along with Boise and Nampa. Idaho Business Review calls to the 13 largest cities in Idaho confirmed that no other city has public parking garages, and nor do the University of Idaho and Idaho State University.
The $7.3 million, 3½-level garage will be located one block north of the primary downtown couplet of Sherman and Lakeside avenues. The garage is expected to open in September, said Sam Taylor, deputy city administrator.
The lowest level, which is partly underground, will have secured parking that requires a pass.
“This is our first opportunity to have secured parking,” Taylor said.
Parking rates have not been established. The garage likely will have hourly and monthly parking, he said.
The garage is being built on a half block jointly owned by the city and ignite cda, which is the city’s urban renewal agency. The city owned the prior 55-space surface parking and ignite cda owned two small mid-block buildings, one most recently used for storage and the other occupied by North Idaho Import Parts, where the owners were looking to retire, Taylor said.
A parking analysis done by Rich & Associates determined the downtown core had a deficit of 221 parking spaces, though the greater downtown still had a surplus of 462 spaces among its 4,476 spaces.
“We really were focusing on making sure it’s for the long term,” Taylor said. “The trick is people want to park very close to where they shop.”
Taylor said the garage will be instrumental during the numerous downtown events staged during the year along with the weekly farmers market. The garage also assists with business attraction. Taylor noting that a local engineering firm in the suburbs committed to moving downtown when the city confirmed it would build a garage.
“It made the difference whether we moved to downtown or didn’t move downtown,” said Phil Boyd, president of Welch Comer Engineers, located near the northeast corner of Coeur d’Alene but moving into the historic Wiggett building, a half block south of the garage. “If we have very large meetings, say 15 people, we can direct them to the garage.”
The garage is also a first step toward the expansion of Coeur d’Alene’s downtown to the north. The city in recent years has sought to revitalize downtown to the east along Sherman Avenue, the primary downtown street. In the future, more garages could be built north of this first garage, Taylor said.
Miller Stauffer Architects of Coeur d’Alene is the architect and T. LaRiviere Equipment & Excavation of Coeur d’Alene is the general contractor.