Now that President's Plaza developers say they do not want $5 million from the City for extra parking spots, the city is working on creating more parking. But city officials say the problem is finding room.
Destination Rapid City has $2 million earmarked for downtown parking. It has set a June 1 deadline with matching funds coming from the City. Den Senftner, President and CEO of Destination Rapid City says they want the parking spaces to be between Omaha and Quincy and Fourth and Ninth Streets.
Terry Wolterstorff, Rapid City Public Works Director, says an initial idea was to tear down the tennis courts at Omaha and Rushmore Road. Now he says they are going back to the drawing board, and he admits it's difficult to find room for additional parking spots downtown.
"We are pretty limited in space down there. There's not a lot of available locations for additional parking lots or parking structures unless we start buying out buildings and once we start doing that the prices really escalate quickly," said Wolterstorff.
"We cannot grow outside of what we're doing if we don't have a place for someone to drive downtown and park or the employee to have a place to park their car all day," said Senftner.
Wolterstorff says in the coming weeks the City and Destination Rapid City will meet to finalize a parking plan. If nothing is decided by June 1, Destination Rapid City says they'll take back their money.