Alpharetta moves forward with Milton Ave. parking deck - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM
 

Alpharetta moves forward with Milton Ave. parking deck

City adding fourth layer

TREANORHL
This rendering of the Milton Avenue parking deck shows retail space on the first floor. Specs call for a brick facing and an additional level for parking.
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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – City leaders have given the go-ahead for the first of two parking decks planned for Downtown Alpharetta – and they gave it an extra level.

The City Council voted 6-1 Monday to approve up to $6.9 million for a four-level garage on Milton Avenue, about two blocks West of Main Street. The parking deck will provide 263 total stalls and is expected to take nine months to build once final specs are approved.

Mayor David Belle Isle cast the lone dissent, saying he wasn’t sure the structure will get enough use to justify the additional cost of a fourth level.

But other council members were swayed by the cost-effectiveness of adding another deck now. They expect the need for parking to only grow as Downtown develops over the coming years and decades.

Engineers with Christman Company, contractors for the project, estimate the cost of adding the fourth level at $983,000, less than half the expense of adding a fourth level later, after construction is completed.

Company representatives also said they could not add a fourth level in the future without closing the bottom three levels during construction.

Much of the funding for the $5.9 million project will come from the sale of property from Alpharetta’s City Center development earlier this year. A consortium of developers plan a mix of commercial, residential and office buildings on that site. 

City Councilman Chris Owens said he wants the city to review final design specs before work begins on the deck. He said there should be an opportunity during the design phase for value engineering, whereby adjustments could shave some of the costs.

Pete Sewczwicz, Alpharetta Public Works director, said the current design calls for a pre-cast brick façade, but not all sides of the structure may need that material. The total price tag could be reduced by as much as $162,000 if alternate materials were used.

Belle Isle, however, said it is important the façade facing Milton Avenue be brick to match the architecture of Downtown.

The Milton Avenue parking deck is part of the city’s commitment to provide parking on the west side of Main Street. The city also has plans for a multi-level deck closer to downtown between Roswell Street and Old Roswell Street.

But, cost estimates have almost doubled since the projects were approved in February. Original estimates put the combined cost of the decks at around $8 million.

Sewczwicz told city leaders Monday that the earlier estimates were based on judgements by engineering firms. The reality, he said, is that true costs come in when contractors survey the site and crunch their own numbers.

In addition, Sewczwicz said, the Milton Avenue site is a difficult location on which to build.

City officials said they plan to make up some of the added costs through the sale of retail space on the first floor of the deck fronting Milton Avenue.

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