Daily Archives: April 23, 2010

Public parking at Exchange Place could be reduced

parking garageReal Development’s controversial Exchange Place project may have fewer public parking spaces than previously thought, new city documents show.

That’s because when developers cut costs to make the deal more palatable for city council members, they cut one level of the garage and reallocated the spaces dedicated to tenants and the public.

Now the proposed garage near Douglas and Market will now only have 64 spaces saved for public parking. That’s down from the 103 promised earlier this month, which was down from the 149 projected in March. Meanwhile, the number of spaces reserved for apartment tenants increased from 195 to 209.

Michael Elzufon, CEO of Real Development, said that there will actually be more like 196 spaces available for the public during the day. That’s because, after reviewing several national studies, developers calculate that only about 37 percent of apartment tenants will need their spaces during the day. That would open up about 132 stalls on top of the 64 reserved for the public, he said.

“We’re going to have, on any given day, well over 100 parking stalls available for the public,” he said.

Public parking was one of the primary justifications the city cited for providing developers with $10.3 million in tax increment financing. And parking is the biggest part of the finance package, totaling $7.8 million.

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House committee resumes budget work

TOPEKA – What is normally a staid recitation of budget numbers on Friday was punctuated by protest chants.

As the House Appropriations Committee took up the report from the subcommittee on social services, a group outside the old Supreme Court room began chanting phrases including “people are dying, shame on you.”

Lawmakers could hear them from inside the chambers.

The subcommittee’s recommendations included deleting allotments for home and community based services for people with physical disabilities, $3.6 million, and with developmental disabilities, $3.3 million.

The House is crafting a budget that adapts to a budget shortfall of about $510 million, depending on the programs that are funded. With all funds, the state budget is about $13 billion; a little more than $5 billion of that is state money.

Lawmakers return for a veto session April 28, when the full legislature will take up the Senate and House budget proposals.

Both chambers’ budget committees were in Topeka this week hammering out their initial budget proposals.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved its budget draft Wednesday, but without the accompanying $412 million tax package that is needed to fund it. The committee will resume work during the veto session.