Monthly parking in the eight Capital City Development Corp. garages in downtown Boise will range from $100 to $220 in 2018 depending on how close drivers want to get to the tallest towers.
CCDC is building a price structure based on supply and demand revolving around how people are willing to pay, said Max Clark, CCDC parking and facilities director.
Monthly rates will increase $20 to $50, depending on the garage, starting Feb. 1 or when the new public/private garage at 11th and Front streets opens. The highest monthly rate, $220, will be for reserved parking in the Capitol & Main garage.
The CCDC Commission unanimously approved the 16- to 30-percent increases Nov. 13 for the new three-tier price structure.
The free first hour will remain at CCDC garages. The hourly rate will increase from $2.50 to $3 with the $12 daily maximum increasing to $15, Clark said.
Until Jan. 1, 2016, all CCDC garages had the same $100 monthly charge. When rates were last increased at that time, CCDC charged a premium $135 for the two Ninth Street garages and $120 for the other four garages.
The 2018 rates will have three tiers to give drivers more options on how much they are willing to pay, Clark said.
The new rates reflect supply and demand based on an August parking survey by CCDC that drew 748 respondents. CCDC weighed how much people on waiting lists for monthly passes were willing to pay vs. the level at which existing pass holders would start relinquishing passes.
“The increase of three garages is a great move to free up parking for people willing to pay,” said CCDC Commissioner Dana Zuckerman, adding that people unwilling to pay $175 on Ninth Street will have a $100 monthly option at 11th and Front. “It’s really $2 per parking day. If that is too taxing, the alternatives are there for those people.”
About 550 people are on the waiting list for monthly passes for the six existing CCDC garages. There are 246 on the waiting list for the 89 spaces CCDC owns in The Fowler apartment garage, which is due to open at Fifth and Broad streets later this year. Another 250 are on the waiting list for the 250 spaces CCDC is buying for $5.2 million in the 829-space Pioneer Crossing garage at 11th and Front, now under construction by Gardner Co.
The 11th and Front garage will have 600 spaces available for monthly passes at first, but any passes after the first 250 will eventually have to be relinquished as Gardner needs more space when a future office building is built.
Clark said 400 people are paying the $12 daily rate; many are awaiting a monthly pass.
CCDC now has 1,744 monthly pass holders for 1,695 designated monthly parking spots, but only 70 to 75 percent of monthly parking spots are used during a typical weekday daytime. About 50 of the monthly passes are rarely used, Clark said.
CCDC’s six garages have 2,567 parking spaces.
The Car Park, which operates 30 surface lots or garages with about 5,000 spaces in downtown Boise, has no plans to increase rates in response to CCDC’s move, owner Jeff Wolfe said.
“I don’t think it will have a big impact at all,” Wolfe said. “On an annual basis, we typically review rates. Certain lots have gone up much quicker than other lots. Some increase a lot, some I leave alone.”
New Capital City Development Corp. parking rates, effective Feb. 1
First hour: remains free
Hourly rate after one hour: increases from $2.50 to $3
Capitol & Main increases from $135 to $175 per month
Ninth & Main increases from $135 to $175 per month
Ninth & Front increases from $120 to $140 per month
10th & Front increases from $120 to $140 per month
Capitol & Myrtle increases from $120 to $140 per month
Capitol & Front increases from $120 to $140 per month
Fifth & Broad, the new garage at The Fowler Apartments, $175 per month
11th and Front, the new garage at Pioneer Crossing, $100 per month
Parking rate increase draws muted reaction
About a dozen people monitored garage parking rate deliberations by the Capital City Development Corp.’s Board of Commissions but only three spoke in the public comment session.
Two spoke in opposition and Chase Erkins, chairman-elect of the Boise Young Professionals, supported the new parking rates.
“I think right now our rates are sufficiently low (compared to other cities),” Erkins said. “If we don’t do something to make it hurt a little bit, public transit will never take off.”
Dale Reese, president of Idaho Scientific, pays for parking for its seven employees.
“We do have concerns about future parking availability,” Reese said. “We also have concerns about the cost of the operation of the business. Price increases will make it harder for us to continue to grow downtown.”
Linda Cockerham of Select Commercial Property Services said her office moved out of downtown in May. The company had monthly parking passes in a CCDC garage.
“One of our biggest concerns is we would go out to a meeting and come back and have no place to park,” Cockerham said. “It hurts bad enough when you pay so much and have no parking space.”
The Idaho Business Review also stopped by a couple downtown businesses.
David Graves owns Alexander Davis Men’s Clothing and pays for parking for his five employees in a non-CCDC garage.
“It’s a multi-faceted, complex problem that’s going to do nothing but grow in downtown Boise,” Graves said. “To expect a customer to do park & ride is not feasible. It needs to be about accessibility and affordability.”
Dan Balluff, president of the Downtown Boise Association board of directors, owns City Peanut Shop. He said he heard little comment about parking rates from downtown merchants in the weeks leading up to the CCDC decision.
“I’m kind of ambivalent,” Balluff said. “It is one of those things that is inevitable.”
New parking revenue will go to alternative transport, garage maintenance
The new parking rates will increase Capital City Development Corp. revenue by an estimated $1.2 million to $1.9 million a year.The additional revenue will be split between maintenance/operations and funding transportation options.
About $600,000 will be set aside for transportation demand management strategies such as park & ride, shuttles, care sharing, carpools and designated garage parking for bicycles and motorcycles, said Max Clark, CCDC parking and facilities director.
Higher parking rates, in part, are designed to encourage drivers to consider options other than bringing a single-occupied vehicle downtown, such as the 15 to 20 people using the existing park & ride lot on Elder Street near Interstate 84 and Vista Avenue, Clark said. He is looking for a second park & ride lot on the West End.
Clark expects to implement carpools, car sharing and bike and motorcycle parking in 2018.
About $500,000 in new revenue will go toward new concrete in the 10th and Front garage, $150,000 for a new elevator and $125,000 for new electronic signage for the rebranded ParkBOI collaboration between CCDC garages and the city’s parking meters. The signage will inform drivers how many spaces are open in the garage, Clark said.