City of Dubuque officials have not yet narrowed the list of possible locations for a planned downtown parking ramp.
Officials said they continue to examine the viability of eight properties that could be used as the site for a 500-space structure that would meet the needs of business tenants in downtown buildings.
Dubuque City Council members approved the $20 million project in March 2019 as part of a development agreement tied to the $12 million purchase of the Roshek Building by Cottingham & Butler and Heartland Financial. The parking ramp would also meet the parking needs of Dupaco Community Credit Union for its $38.5 million project to renovate the Voices building at 1000 Jackson St.
The Roshek Building development agreement requires that the parking ramp be completed by Dec. 31, 2022, and be located within a specific radius of the Roshek Building to accommodate the influx of employees at the site.
In March, City Manager Mike Van Milligen recommended the city pay for the project by borrowing $20 million and repaying the loan through revenue generated by the city’s greater downtown tax-increment-financing district. He said at the time that he intended to present a land purchase agreement to the council before the end of the year.
Speaking with the Telegraph Herald on Tuesday, Van Milligen said that while the city has not eliminated any sites from consideration, he still intends to have a purchase agreement ready for a parcel before the end of 2020.
“That is still the plan at this point,” Van Milligen said.
City officials declined to disclose what sites are being considered. Jill Connors, the city’s economic development director, said several factors need to be examined, including the size of the sites and their ability to accommodate a 500-lot parking structure.
“There are multiple possible locations that are still being reviewed,” Connors said. “We’re working on figuring out how you could fit a large enough ramp with a large enough volume to meet the city’s commitment.”
Van Milligen added that the city is also focused on ensuring cost savings by determining the prices of each proposed site and the development costs that would come with each.
“If there is a building on the site, we need to know what the cost is to develop there,” Van Milligen said. “We will need to negotiate on a couple of sites to determine which one is the most economically priced.”
While no sites have been eliminated from the consideration process, Connors said the project is still on schedule.