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Parking lot reserved for Rieger residents

Melissa Topey • Dec 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Rieger Place residents will have designated parking once construction crews finish work on a West Market Street parking lot, next to the county garage.

The open-air surface parking will have 27 spaces to help meet the needs of the 37 senior apartments being remodeled at the Rieger, said Roy Lowenstein, vice president of the Columbus-based nonprofit Buckeye Community Hope Foundation.

In early 2012 Buckeye Community Hope Foundation secured $8 million in tax credits to transform the former Rieger Hotel into apartments for seniors.

“The purchase of the land for the parking lot was part of the purchase of the building” Lowenstein said.

Two of the parking spaces will be designated as handicapped parking, according to plans filed with the city. The lot will be private, used exclusively by apartment residents. Signs will be posted warning anyone else parking in it will be towed.

“Our goal is not to tow people,” Lowenstein said. “Our goal is to ensure space for the residents”

Parking spaces become a scarce commodity on summer weekends and during special downtown events, even with street parking and the city lot, he said.

Developers are waiting to see how many residents will have cars. If more parking is needed, they will possibly approach the city to see about reserving spaces in the city lot.

“But we didn’t want to do that until we see what is needed” Lowenstein said.

Dedicated spaces for apartment residents was a must for the project.

“It would have been hard to sell the project to our investors if parking was not guaranteed,” Lowenstein said.

Plans for the parking lot, provided by the city, show the surface parking lot is 8,184 square feet.

It will have an asphalt surface, with new lighting and shrubs added for landscaping.

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