A parking garage in Blacksburg that stands six stories tall will likely relieve some parking problems in the town. It opened today and is a positive for the community and business owners.
"I don't know how much it will help, but I know it won't hurt, and I'm glad to see it open," said Scott Elich, Owner of Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea in Blacksburg.
"I think it's very important in how it fits into the whole fabric and structure of downtown," said Ron Rordam, Mayor of the Town of Blacksburg.
Rordam says the town, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Tech Foundation worked together to build the garage and the North End Center, which will soon house several university offices and retail space. It is a little more than a block from the Center for the Arts, which is scheduled to open this fall. The parking deck will have space for 800 cars.
"We're going to have a lot of patrons coming, and attending our events and we need obviously a place to put them, and this parking deck will be a big help for that. It will be very close, it will be convenient," said Mark Owczarski, a spokesman for Virginia Tech.
It is the third parking deck to go up in the town, when you include the town and campus, and a fourth is under construction on campus. But it is only part of the solution.
The town owns the lot behind Chipotle Restaurant. The mayor says that lot could be used in the future to address larger parking needs, but it is still several years away
"You can't solve a parking problem with just one structure. You have to look forward, you have to strategically plan, and with the town we are doing that now," says Rordam.
"As campus is further developed and surface lots are being taken away, we need to stay a step ahead," says Owczarski.
The university is still working out the details about which spaces will be set aside for faculty and staff with university passes, and where the public will be allowed to park.