Sauro's parking lot contract tentatively headed to Tacoma City Council

Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote Aug. 9 on a purchase resolution that would begin charging drivers to park at a new parking lot completed last month in downtown Tacoma. If approved, the resolution would authorize Republic Parking Northwest to manage the city-owned, 35-stall parking lot located near South 14th Street and Pacific Avenue. Drivers would pay an initial rate of $2.50 per hour, and a rate of $125 (plus tax) to park there monthly.

The purchase resolution was originally slated to appear before City Council on July 26. It was moved tentatively to the Aug. 2 agenda. It now appears tentatively on Tuesday’s agenda.

According to a July 11 memo from Public Works Director Dick McKinley to city councilmembers, the parking lot is expected to generate $60,000 annually in revenue, and the city will pay Republic Parking Northwest 1.5 percent of net revenue. The city will also reimburse the contractor for ‘out of pocket’ expenses related to operating and maintaining the parking lot.

The site of the parking lot has a long history in downtown Tacoma. It was once home to a store, bus terminal, and boarding house. But for 50 years, it was home to Sauro’s Cleanerama. After Sauro’s closed, the lot was abandoned for more than a decade due to a toxic legacy. In May 2009, the Washington State Department of Ecology released a report that showed the site had “levels of the dry cleaning chemical perchloroethylene and its breakdown products in the soil and groundwater that exceeded state Model Toxics Control Act cleanup standards.” The city eventually purchased the site and partnered with the Dept. of Ecology on a $2.6 million clean-up effort. Last year, Tacoma City Council, using $700,000 in state funds, awarded a contract to Serpanok Construction, Inc. of Tacoma to turn the parcel into a street-level parking lot.

The resolution before the council next week would also authorize Republic Parking Northwest to manage a city-owned, 50-stall parking lot located at 303 East D St. on the east side of Thea Foss Waterway and across the street from the Center for Urban Waters. The lot is currently used by the city’s environmental services department. Drivers would pay an initial rate of 75 cents per hour, or $4 per day, and a rate of $50 to park there monthly.

McKinley’s memo notes the city owns seven parking garages and two surface lots with approximately 2,500 public stalls throughout the downtown area.

To read the pending agenda, click here —

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Tacoma City Council to vote on parking contracts (07/19/11) —

A political cartoonist ‘celebrates’ downtown’s latest development . . . another parking lot (07/13/11) —

Sauro’s parking lot project nearly finished (06/28/11) —

Work begins on former Sauro’s site (03/29/11) —

City Manager: Several factors hindered Sauro’s site development (02/28/11) —

Tacoma City Council OK’s contract for Sauro’s site parking project downtown (02/09/11)–

Sauro’s site closer to becoming parking lot (02/08/11) —