Deadwood moves forward with proposed parking garage

While the 100-space Miller Street Parking Lot is being considered to house a new 400-plus space parking garage structure, Deadwood city officials are keeping their options open in order to get the best bang for their buck.

DEADWOOD — A proposed second parking garage in Deadwood is one step closer to reality, as June 20, the Deadwood City Commission granted permission to enter into contract negotiation with JLG Architects and Walker Consultants for planning and design services for a future parking facility at a location to be determined.

“As you know, the RFP was issued on March 7 for what looks to be our next parking garage,” said Deadwood Planning and Zoning Administrator Jeramy Russell. “Miller Street is our initial design location, we’re proposing. Proposals were due on April 28 and we conducted interviews with three qualified design firms on May 9. Out of that, the parking and transportation committee recommends that the city enters into contractual agreement … for this project.”

Commissioner Gary Todd asked what the dollar amount of the design work would be.

Mayor David Ruth, Jr. said the motion was for contract negotiations to begin and a price would be set following those negotiations.

Commissioner Charlie Struble asked if the proposed location for the new parking garage will change from the Miller Street Parking Lot to another location.

“One of the requests that we gave to them is that we are, initially, looking at the Miller Street area, but we recognize that might not be what this body truly wants, in the end,” Russell said. “If financially it doesn’t make sense and maybe revenue would be better generated somewhere else, so we left that open, but that is our initial choice.”

Todd said the location is important.

“I want to make sure we get the best bang for our buck,” he said. “The last time we built a parking garage, the spots were 10 times what they would have been in other locations. Location, location, location. I think it’s important we get the most spots for the least money, with some convenience built in, too.”

Commissioner Sharon Martinisko said the group selected for the project talked about doing assessments to answer those questions.

Russell said the first meeting with the design firms will be held this week at Deadwood City Hall.

“We’re going to go from where we are today — existing conditions — to get to our next phase of that, which will be the actual design of what that garage will look like,” Russell said. “During this time, we are also going to look at other areas that may or may offer more bang for the buck for Deadwood, as far as how many parking spaces we could fit and what the value is for each individual spot per location. With the Miller Street area, it’s much more narrow than other areas of the city. It is possible that we will not get the total number of parking spaces that city commission wants because of these conditions.”

The Sherman Street Parking Lot and the Lower Main Parking Lot are other locations that have previously been discussed.

“If we find that one of those areas is a better fit for Deadwood, that could be the direction the city commission decides to go,” Russell said. “But right now, it’s just phase one, as far as what the current conditions are and working through what the cost is going to be.”

Russell estimated the project to be a five-phase endeavor consisting of schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding/negotiations, and construction administration.

“All will need to be completed prior to breaking ground,” he said.

Russell said the Miller Street location was identified as the spot to house the new garage, due to the fact that it was identified to do so in a parking study done in the 1990s.

“So we kind of rolled with that,” he said. “We, obviously, are seeing growth and expansion with everything that’s going on with Jacobs block and the Pump House and Deadwood Dick’s. Sherman Street is quickly becoming a bigger part of Deadwood. Deadwood isn’t just confined to Main Street anymore. That, coupled with that early study, made sense for our group and the city commission that we continue with those original plans, but we also understand that the idea is to get the most parking spaces and revenue from that. That revenue helps us continue to grow all aspects of parking.”

Russell said the earliest construction would begin on the new garage is likely one year from now.

“It would be great to have that sooner, but, realistically, we need to figure out how we’re going to pay for it,” he said. “It could be something where the city has to bond for it. Certainly, a lot of conversations and public meetings will have to take place prior to that point.”

Russell said one thing is certain.

“We want this garage to be at least equivalent to what we have currently,” Russell said. “I don’t think we want the design to mirror the Broadway ramp. We certainly learned a lot from that, I believe. It’s very tight and narrow, making it difficult to maneuver, due to the design and also where it was built. These are things that our design team needs to look at and understand as they proceed through this design process.”