The City of Loveland is moving forward to add more parking to its Historic Downtown business district. On Feb. 6, City Council awarded a bid to DJ Drew Company to begin construction on a surface lot. Construction is expected to begin with tree removal and site prep as early as mid-February 2024.
The surface parking lot, located off First Street behind City Hall, will feature 147 spaces. These spaces will add to Historic Downtown’s current 535 public parking spaces. There will be no fee to park in the lot.
“Additional parking benefits our residents and guests, including users of the Bike Trail. The new parking lot is a boost to economic development, allowing our local businesses to thrive,” said Mayor Kathy Bailey.
In addition, the project includes sidewalks to create a pedestrian connection between State Route 48 and Harrison Avenue, antique-style lighting, properly sized storm water detention, a consolidated dumpster area, and landscaping along the parking lot’s borders.
The new parking lot will tie into two other downtown projects: the recent expansion of Harrison Avenue and the soon-to-be realignment of the parking lot at City Hall. All together, these projects are creating a consolidated intersection for traffic flow and new sidewalks for pedestrian safety.
Previously awarded grant monies will be used to construct the lot. The city has secured $1.15 million in state and federal funding: a $900k grant from the Ohio Capital Budget and a $250k grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
“Essentially, an important project that will benefit our residents, visitors, and downtown businesses will be completed at a minimal cost to the city,” explained David Kennedy, Loveland City Manager.
Originally, the plan was to build a 270-space parking garage, which now is estimated to cost more than $7 million due to the pandemic’s impact on inflating construction costs. Building a lot is more economical and keeps debt funding at a minimum, according to Kennedy.
For more information about the parking lot project, please visit https://lovelandoh.gov/543/Downtown-Parking-Lot.