Parking must be addressed for depot project


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta leaders have already approved $14 million dollars for the depot development project but will that contribution have to increase to honor the city’s four year old commitment to nearby Unisys, to provide parking?

Augusta leaders want this million dollar parking lot to become a $94 million dollar riverfront development, so they met last week to try and work out the issues that could prevent that from taking place.

“The deal that was signed with Unisys, in terms of parking, is the city’s issue. We’re going to have to deal with it, not the developer,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.

Last November, city leaders got a letter from Discovery Plaza, where Unisys is located, reminding city leaders of its commitment to provide 533 parking places. The letter says under no circumstances will Unisys consider any proposal less than that, or relocate to parking areas further away from the Unisys offices.

“It’s definitely an issue but I think we can make this work,” said Frantom.

But Commissioner Marion Williams says the work on the project should end.

“I’m not supporting the project anymore. We set the project up, nobody started anything. We may lose a little money now but I would like to lose a little money now than lose a lot of money later,”said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The development is calling for 175 parking spots for Unisys but the city needs to find another 358, one answer would be making the development’s parking deck bigger.

“The city’s committed $14 million, will the city have to commit more?”

“Don’t know that possibly,” said Frantom.

“I can’t support that. If they got the votes to do it without me, fine. But I can’t support that,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

Now Mayor Pro-Tem Frantom says a plan will be going back to commissioners to deal with the Unisys parking situation, however Frantom admits that plan is not yet down on paper.

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