Proposed locations for Haymarket parking garage

An arena is coming to the Haymarket, along with a new hotel and parking garage.

Businesses already in the Haymarket are worried there won't be enough parking when the arena and hotel go up.

Connie Mahaney owns the From Nebraska Gift Shop and says, “If the hotels take over the parking garages, then all the people that park in there now are not going to have any place to park.”

There are three proposals in front of the city council about where the parking garage should go.

Urban Development director Dave Landis, shared his ideas with the council.  Two are to build it on the north side of the Haymarket at 9th and “Q” where Berry's sits.  Mahaney says she likes that idea.

One approach is to connect it, with an overpass, to the garage already across the street. 

Another is to make it stand alone.  That would mean three buildings would have to be removed.  Landis believes that could cost the city more money.

He supports building the garage here near 7th and “O” where an abandoned building now sits.  He says traffic would not have to be diverted.  Here's where the council comes in.  Landis says, “we want to let them know we are going forward and this is our preferred solution. We've done the study we think we know that we want. We're going to work towards it and if we're wrong if we're making a mistake a timely signal from the council that we're choosing the wrong option would be helpful.”

Councilman Jon Camp believes the 9th and “Q” location is best.  He says businesses like Mahaney's need it and it's closer to landmarks like Memorial Stadium, the Lied Center, and the I-80 exit.  He says right, now, it's too early to rule anything out.  “I think the bottom line statement I'd like to make is there are great ideas, but the location at 7th and “O” is not a bad location, it's just five years too early.”

There is no word on when the council will make a decision.  Landis hopes it's sooner rather than later.