The intersection of William and Barton Street (pin)

City, Developer Agreement to Provide Temporary Parking Lot on William Street

by | Feb 15, 2017 | Government

By Susan Larson. Map from Google Maps.

The City of Fredericksburg has entered into a short-term lease with W.J. Vakos & Company, to use an empty lot at the intersection of William and Barton streets for city parking.

The city will pay $23,500 per year for use of the 83 to 85-space parking lot, pay the electric bill, estimated at $250 a month, and pay the cost to open the lot and maintain it, estimated to be $11,000 in fiscal year 2017.

“The city will be billed for rent and electricity, which works out to about $1,958 per month,” said Bill Freehling, director, Fredericksburg Department of Economic Development and Tourism. “If the lease ends early, so do the payments,” he said. “In other words, we aren’t paying the $23,500 upfront.”

City Council Members Matt Kelly (At-Large) and Chuck Frye (Ward 4) suggested W.J. Vakos could offer the lot free of charge. City Manager Tim Baroody said the company was not interested in a free deal.

W.J. Vakos purchased the 90,000-square-foot building and adjacent parking lot — formerly home to The Free Lance-Star — in 2015, and plans a mixed-use development on the site.

The city will use the lot for public parking, while the company goes through the public planning and permitting process for its development, Baroody said.

City staff brokered the agreement with W.J. Vakos, and City Council approved it during their February 14 meeting. The deal runs through October 15, 2017, at which time both sides can decide whether or not to extend the lease.

The Fredericksburg Planning Commission will determine on March 15 whether the lease is in accordance with the 2015 Comprehensive Plan, Baroody said. The deal could be cancelled.

The city does not plan to charge for parking at the lot, or impose any hourly limits there, Baroody said.

In addition, W.J. Vakos & Co. is allowing the city to use portions of the property for storage of vehicles to be used in the June 17 Soap Box Derby in the weeks leading up to the race, and tactical training for the Fredericksburg Police Department.

“The parking lot lease is one of many efforts that city leaders are making to add more parking inventory downtown,” Baroody said. “The city is currently working with Walker Parking Consultants on a parking action plan for downtown.”

Editor’s Note: A map of downtown parking lots is attached to this article as a .pdf, and available online on the city’s website.

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