Downtown Parking Garage Project
January 2023 Update
As of Jan. 10, 2023, City Council approved design concepts for the parking garage at 501 Austin Ave. The concepts were scheduled to go before the Historic and Architectural Review Commission for final approval on Jan. 26, 2023. Once HARC approves the design and issues a Certificate of Appropriateness, City Council will vote whether to move forward designs and with the project.
Current estimated cost: $17 million funded by FY2022 and FY2023 certificates of obligation and federal American Rescue Plan Act funding
Number of parking spots in parking garage: 319
Current estimated timeline: Completion anticipated to be in Winter 2024
- Jan. 26, 2023: HARC Certificate of Appropriateness
- Jan. 10: City Council heard a design update with HARC Certificate of Appropriateness comments
- Dec. 8, 2022: HARC Certificate of Appropriateness Review
- Nov. 22, 2022: City Council heard a design update with HARC conceptual review comments
- Nov. 10, 2022: HARC conceptual review
- Oct. 11, 2022: City Council heard a design update
- Sept. 13, 2022: City Council heard a design update and options to meet view corridor requirements
- July 26, 2022: City Council discussed schematic design and view corridor conflict.
- April 26, 2022: City Council voted unanimously to move forward with plans to build a parking garage at Tamiro Plaza located at 501 Austin Ave.
Council also approved:
- Professional Services Agreement between the City and WGI of Frisco, Texas, for Architectural/Engineering Design of the parking garage to be located at Tamiro Plaza.
- The proposed land-swap of City-owned property at 502 S. Main St. and 111 E. Seventh St. for the property located at 501 Austin Ave. (Tamiro Plaza).
- Lease agreement to allow the continued public use of the properties located at 601 S. Main St. and 111 E. Seventh St. for two years after its sale, as per the land-swap.
Click here to view the meeting.
Click here to read the council agenda materials for the Professional Services Agreement.
Click here to read the council agenda materials for the proposed land-swap.
Click here to read the council agenda materials for the lease agreement.
- March 22, 2022: City Council workshop presentation to update the Council on public feedback regarding the three sites identified by Council in November 2021. City Council agreed to continue developing plans for the Tamiro Plaza location.
- Nov. 9, 2021: City Council workshop presentation about site analysis, renderings, and options. The council identified three potential sites to move forward for public engagement
- Aug. 10, 2021: City Council workshop presentation on downtown parking structure, where the council confirmed direction for a work plan and added Tamiro Plaza as an option
- July 27, 2021: City Council workshop presentation on downtown goals, and council direction was to accelerate the parking structure site analysis
- April 28, 2020: City Council workshop in which the council provided feedback on projects to put on hold due to COVID-19
- March 10, 2020: City Council workshop on parking garage: video
- March 10, 2020: Parking Design Committee presentation at council workshop
- March 10, 2020: Downtown Parking Garage public engagement presentation at City Council workshop
- Feb. 11, 2020: City Council workshop on parking garage: video
- Jan. 14, 2020: City Council workshop on parking garage: video
- 2015 Downtown Parking Study
- 2014 Downtown Master Plan
- Downtown Parking Garage survey results 2019: We received 1,375 responses, including 1,192 comments. Most indicated they preferred traditional, brick and glass structure to a more modern look.
These are the design concepts as of January 2023. The Historic and Architectural Review Commission is scheduled to review the concepts for final approval Jan. 26, 2023, after which the design will go to City Council for adoption.
Why are we considering a parking garage now?
The 2015 Downtown Parking Study recommended short-, mid- and long-term solutions. Many of the short-term solutions have been implemented, including expanding and enhancing surface parking and increasing enforcement for three-hour limited parking.
The City has seen robust development during the past four years, with 40 new businesses opening in 2019. As the intensity of use increases for the downtown area, parking needs increase. According to estimates from the Planning Department, the new businesses that have come to downtown would have been required to add nearly 700 parking spots, had the businesses been constructed outside of the downtown area.
The proposed first garage presents a mid-term parking solution that fits the City budget and addresses parking for the square in a convenient location. This project is expected to help address the additional parking needs due to increased activity so that visitors are not tempted to utilize on street parking in the adjacent neighborhoods.
- Provides parking in the NE quadrant with most current parking pressure
- More development on the near-term horizon in this quadrant
- Opportunity for mid-sized garage as a first
- Will be a reliever for parking when future garage(s) are built
- Less costly than at Ninth and Main streets
- Visibility to visitors
- Council approved land swap on April 26, 2022
- Usage agreement which would allow for maintaining nearly 200 parking spots during construction
- Opportunity for P3 (Public Private Partnership)
How many spaces were available in downtown in 2015? In 2019?
The 2015 Parking study included the Monument Café lot and the North Library parking lot and included 610 lot spaces. With the sale and development of city owned properties, 83 spots were reduced for public use. In addition, 24 spaces were utilized with the development of the Watkins building (on a non-city owned lot that was used by the public). The expansion of the Sunflower lot (currently under construction) will net an additional 66 spaces. The parking garage is expected to increase overall public parking by 158 spaces.
How would the parking garage be funded?
The cost and financing for the garage will depend upon the design. The proposed garage had a budget of $5 million, with debt that is amortized during 20 years. The annual payments of the debt were budgeted to be split equally between the property tax rate for the entire city tax base and the Downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Fund (only downtown properties). The Downtown TIRZ is already in place and the revenue comes from existing taxes.
Funding considerations include:
- Federal America Rescue Plan Act
- FY2022 Certificates of Obligation
- FY2023 Certificates of Obligation
Will the City only ever build one garage?
The City will continue to evaluate parking needs for the downtown area, consistent with the parking study and the master plan. The first garage likely will be followed by a second garage in the future, when demands increase. The City is also making other parking improvements, including expanding the Sunflower lot (across from library), which is property the City leases from Williamson County. The County retains the right to use that lot to address their future facility needs.
Additional parking needs will be assessed during the development of the updated Downtown Master Plan, which will be worked on in 2023 through 2024.
Council is considering an update to the parking study in conjunction with the Tamiro project.
How many total parking spaces would be created in the parking garage?
The total number of spaces ultimately would be determined in the location and final design of the garage. Council directed staff to create a minimum of 150 net new parking spaces. The Tamiro site will provide 319 spaces with infrastrucutre included to provide power for future Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.
Will it cost money to park in the garage?
The City does not intend to charge for parking in a garage during the first few years, but may choose to charge or limit parking during special events (for example, may consider the garage being utilized for ADA parking during festivals). Future Councils may choose to change this policy if needs and demands change in the future.
If a garage is approved, what would the tentative schedule look like?
If Council approves a contract to design and build a parking garage downtown, it would be at least two years before anyone could park in the garage. During that time, use and visits to downtown will continue to grow.
The preliminary schedule for the initial garage showed:
- Design – estimated 9-10 months, earliest estimated completion: Summer 2023
- Bid/Construction – estimated 15-18 month, earliest estimated completion: Winter 2024
When a garage is constructed at Sixth and Main streets, where can I park during construction of the parking garage?
These free parking lots downtown are available:
- Red Poppy Lot at Ninth and Main streets: 136 spaces
- Sunflower Lot at Eighth and Martin Luther King Jr. streets: 140 spaces
- Daisy Lot at Fifth Street and Austin Avenue: 108 spaces
- Williamson County public parking garage at Third and Rock: 400 spaces
- Bluebonnet Lot at Sixth and Main streets: 47 spaces
Will renovations at 101 E. Seventh St., the former Council Chamber and Municipal Court building, affect parking?
The City has agreed to provide use of a portion of the property that will become the garage for use during structural enhancements to 101 Seventh St. Staff is communicating regularly with the owner on project schedules. According to the current project schedule, no conflict is anticipated. Staff will continue to coordinate with the building owner to mitigate any conflicts if schedules shift.
What is the Downtown Parking Garage Stakeholder Steering Committee?
This committee was established in 2019 to provide input to the City staff and Council about a potential parking garage. Its members were appointed by the City Council. View meeting agendas and minutes here.
Why is the City considering building a garage at Sixth and Main?
The 2014 Downtown Master Plan update recommended the City view parking as a utility versus a land use because it provides a service that customers use. The Master Plan also identified four potential parking garage locations and recommended that the City initiate a study to study the issue more closely. Of those four locations, only two are owned by the City. The Downtown Parking Study was completed in 2015 and studied various locations, including the location currently planned at Main and Sixth streets.
This location is owned by the City and is conveniently located close to the square. The smaller scale provides an opportunity to improve current parking inventory as opposed to waiting 10 to 15 years to be able to afford to build the larger structure planned at Ninth and Main streets in the future. This location also would take fewer spaces off line during construction than the future, larger location.
However, given public interest and Council direction, staff is asking our consultant to reassess parking needs downtown, and evaluate potential sites by criteria established with public feedback.
Some Council members expressed a desire to keep this location as an option, should the non-City-owned property fall through.
What will happen to spaces next to Galaxy Bakery?
The 18 parking spaces next to Galaxy Bakery are included in the 47 total spaces for the Bluebonnet Lot. The City is considering the potential future use of this site.
Provide an update on surface parking lot construction north of Library. Why was a parking garage not built on the County property?
The Sunflower Lot has been expanded by 66 addition parking spaces. Since the property is owned by the County and leased by the City, the City cannot build a parking structure on the lot.
At its Nov. 9, 2021, meeting, the Council identified three primary locations for a potential new garage location and directed staff to seek public engagement about those options. Public feedback was collected from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, 2021, and included a digital survey, a booth at Shop Small Saturday, and information available at the Visitors Center. Read a summary of the results here.
The City of Georgetown is committed to addressing the need for parking in downtown in a way that involves as many stakeholders as possible. If you live, work, or visit downtown, you are a stakeholder in this project, and we hope you’ll share your experiences and preferences with us as we continue to explore options. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and your response will be shared with City leaders
Tamiro Plaza Site Details:
- 02 Concepts Comparison Tamiro Site 110121
- Tamiro – OPT 1B – Render 1
- Tamiro – OPT 1B – Render 2
- Tamiro – Opt 1B – Street
- Tamiro – OPT 2B – Render 1
- Tamiro – OPT 2B – Render 2
- Tamiro – Opt 2B – Street
- Tamiro Concepts 102921 2C-3
Sixth & Main streets Site Details:
- 03 Concepts Comparison 6th & Main 110121
- 6th and Main – Street View – NW Corner (3 Lev)
- 6th and Main – Street View – NW Corner (4 Lev)
- 6th and Main – Street View – SW Corner (3 Lev)
- 6th and Main – Street View – SW Corner (4 Lev)
- NW Corner (3) – 3 Levels
- NW Corner (3) – 4 Levels
- NW Corner (4) – 4 Levels
- SW Corner – 3 Levels
- SW Corner – 4 Levels
- West – 3 Levels
- West – 4 Levels
Ninth & Main streets Site Details:
- 05 Concepts Comparison 9th & Main 110121 – 3 Levels
- 05 Concepts Comparison 9th & Main 110121 – 4 Levels
WGI also provided options for parking garages at 4th and Austin Avenue and across from the library. For more about those options, please see the Nov. 9, 2021, Council workshop.