The Price is Right
The numbers back him up. In its first full month in August, the structure earned $43,234, nearly 10 percent of the DDA's first-year goal of $451,479, in the slowest month of the year. In large part, Hewitt says, that's because "the demand for monthly parking permits far exceeded expectations. Well over half the  spaces are requested for monthly parking. Over one hundred monthly parkers moved from the Liberty Square structure because of the special opening rate of $95 per month for the first two years"--$60 a month less than at Liberty Square. Thanks to the exodus, the DDA is opening part of Liberty Square to hourly parkers.
"The way things have been going, [Library Lane] will be as full as the other structures in a year," Hewitt predicts. "During the school year, most structures are 80 percent full or more."
Critics warned that rate increases to pay for the $50 million underground structure might drive people away from downtown. That hasn't happened. "Overall we've grown revenue 12 percent in the last year compared with the previous year," says Hewitt, "and that's with rate increases only in the 6 to 7 percent range."
As for what'll go on top of the structure, Hewitt defers to DDA board member Joan Lowenstein. "After months of public outreach and evaluation by a land use economist, the DDA will make recommendations to [city] council about that parcel, as well as the other surface parking lots" on William, she emails. "The council will ultimately decide what goes there."