Cooper-Young district to discuss parking garage - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cooper-Young district to discuss parking garage

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

If you've ever tried to find a parking place in the Cooper-Young district, especially on the weekends, or during a festival, you know what a challenge that can be.

There's a plan in the works to help solve that problem, but not everyone who lives in the area is happy about a proposed parking garage and are lining up against it.

Developers are talking about building a parking garage on a stretch of Young Avenue. Though the plan is in the early stages, according to the Cooper-Young Business Association it could have between 210-270 spaces depending on the plan, and possibly retail space on the first floor.

They want to address the parking issues in the area but neighborhood businesses say it's a problem.

"On the weekends, especially, it gets overcrowded and overrun with people trying to find parking, said Scott Sitzes, manager of Mulan Bistro, which is in the heart of the Cooper-Young District. "The parking garage would definitely bring in probably a good 20 percent to all the businesses around here."

Mulan Bistro restaurant has its own parking lot but Sitzes says their customers would use the additional spaces.

"The neighborhod's really come up in the last four or five years," he said. "It's really, really, really grown. Our business keeps increasing and increasing."

Parking is plentiful on a Monday afternoon, but on weekends businesses say it's tough for customers to find a space. Some neighbors are already lining up against a garage.

"Sure we have some good restaurants here but it's unnecessary," said Charles Lee, Cooper-Young resident. "I think it's overkill. There's plenty of parking all around here."

Lee has lived in the neighborhood for a decade and doesn't think a parking garage will fit here. The Cooper-Young Community Association executive director says this would be a major development for the neighborhood so the group is organizing a meeting Tuesday night to help present the idea to the public.

"The sad part is, once they gut a major part of a charming community like this and put something like that in, the charm goes away," he said.

This isn't the first time a parking garage has been talked about in Cooper-Young but neighbors say this is the first time it looks like a possibility. The business association and developers say this project has a long way to go, there's no funding yet.
The community meeting takes Tuesday night at the CYCA Office on Young Avenue at 6:30 p.m.

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