An architect has been selected and work is set to move forward on a seven-story, $20 million garage immediately south of City Hall as downtown continues to struggle with a public parking system that is filled beyond capacity.
TAP Architecture, which previously designed the county's Metro II garage at the corner of Dean A. McGee and Hudson avenues, was selected for the project, which will add 700 spaces.
Cathy O'Connor, president of The Alliance for the Economic Development of Oklahoma City, said construction is likely to begin in early 2013 with an opening expected one year later. She said the new garage should ease demand for the Santa Fe Parking Garage, which is continually overbooked due to the relocation downtown by Continental Resources and Enogex.
“The thought is that there are users on the west side with the Santa Fe garage that we could move to the new garage,” O'Connor said. “The city needs the spaces, the library and art museum need the spaces. There is definitely enough demand, and the good news is we see demand at night as well.”
Architects will be tasked with creating a garage that fits into the historic context of the area. Discussions are ongoing as to whether to add additional residential floors above the garage. The garage will be built on a lot already owned by the city and an adjoining parking lot that is attached to the nearby Hightower Building at Main and Hudson.