With Oklahoma City’s downtown garages at 121 percent occupancy with a waiting list for spaces, an influx of more than 1,600 new parking spaces can’t come soon enough for Debi Holtzclaw.
Holtzclaw, parking services manager with the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, is juggling a spiking demand for parking caused by an influx of new companies wanting to locate downtown, while also shuffling customers who had to temporarily be relocated from the Century Center garage while it undergoes repairs.
Demand for parking spaces will only climb higher, she notes, as the John W. Rex Elementary opens this fall, The Oklahoma Publishing Company moves to Century Center in the winter, and Continental Resources, Tapstone Energy and other companies continue to grow their downtown workforces.
“I’ve been in the parking side of this for six years, and we’ve seen demand keep on increasing and increasing year after year,” Holtzclaw said. “I don’t think it’s ever been like this historically.”
Short-term solutions have included shuttling employees from their offices to surface lots the authority controls in the old Interstate 40 right-of-way.
Relief, meanwhile, is coming via public and private expansions.
The authority is hoping construction will wrap up this summer on the 10-story, 830-space Arts District Garage being built just south of City Hall. A three-story, 336-space addition, meanwhile, is being built atop the City Center Garage by the ownership group that also controls Leadership Square, Oklahoma, Corporate and City Place Towers.