New parking lot downtown Nanaimo unlikely to recoup costs, says staff report

NANAIMO – Revenue from Gordon Street lot, originally slated for a hotel, would not pay for parking meter.

The city would not even recoup the monthly charge for a ticket machine with revenue from the proposed Gordon Street parking lot, a staff report shows.

“While [a parking lot] seemed like a reasonable idea, it doesn’t appear to make much sense from an economic point of view,” said Mayor Bill McKay.

Nanaimo city council had city staff members look into the potential to turn 100 Gordon St. into an interim pay parking lot, but with estimated costs of more than $72,000 and no anticipation of recouping costs, at least three politicians aren’t interested.

A new parking lot could offer 20-30 new stalls for cars, or up to four buses and recreational vehicles and 15 cars, but the costs would be significant, according to recently released staff report, which pegs gravel parking alone to cost $72,500. To create a paved parking lot would cost $163,000, not including street lighting and landscaping.

Staff members also believe there would be a low utilization rate of pay parking, which would compete with existing free on-street parking options and underground facilities next door. Revenue would not be enough to cover the monthly $500 operating charge for the ticket machine or pay back capital construction.

“If we have parking spaces available and this one will be little used, I can’t see making that kind of capital expenditure for something we’ll never recover its cost,” said McKay, who said the most telling for him was that the rent of the parking machine wouldn’t be recovered.

Councillors Jerry Hong and Wendy Pratt both agreed the property needs to be cleaned up, but they are not convinced the city should turn it into pay parking after reading the staff report.

Pratt said nothing in the report made her believe the city could make lots of money on a pay parking lot and doesn’t believe “that kind of money” should be invested into it.

It’s far too integral a property in downtown, said Pratt, who wants to see it actively marketed.

Hong, who called the cost of a gravel parking lot “ridiculous,” said he’s in favour of seeing the property offered to the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association in the interim for merchant parking. The organization would be responsible for management and putting in gravel or pavement.

The report will go to a council meeting Monday. Coun. Bill Bestwick, who proposed the motion for a pay parking lot, did not return phone calls or text messages.



Just Posted

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read