COLLEGE STATION, Tx (KYLE) — It's not uncommon to see an empty parking lot in Northgate during the day but the city of College Station and the Northgate District Association hopes that will change.
"Everyone knows that Northgate is slammed every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night between 11:30 and 2:00 in the morning," said Chris Scott, executive director of the Northgate District Association. "We want to diversify that and go more into what we call off-peak times."
They think they've found a way to do that by changing the parking rates in the promenade lot during the weekday lunch hours between 11:00 A.M.. and 2:00 P.M...
Right now it'll cost you 75 cents an hour to park here but starting August 19th, it won't cost you a thing.
But in order to offer free parking during the day the city will have to increase parking rates in the garage and meter spaces during peak hours to make up the deficit.
"You know these are all predictions so time will really tell what we're actually able to do but we believe it will results in an increased revenue of about $180,000 a year and that's just about what we need to close that fiscal gap in the fund," said Assistant Director of Planning and Development, Lance Simms.
It's a compromise to make everyone happy.
"We have to have money to operate the parking operations in Northgate," Simms said. "So the question is how do you get there, how do you raise the needed revenue with having the minimal impact on the establishments? And that's the balance we've been trying to strike."
Scotti said, "There's the perception that it's hard to park here and we're trying to change that so I think once word gets out it will cause more people to give Northgate a second thought."
Perfect timing too since two new restaurants, Blackwater Draw Brewing Company and The Backyard, are in the works to open in the fall.
The new rates will go into effect August 19th before the new semester starts.