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New parking plans underway for Riverfront Centre

<p>Trail council approved the first phase of design for a undeveloped lot across the street from the Riverfront Centre. (Image: City of Trail)</p> -

Trail council approved the first phase of design for a undeveloped lot across the street from the Riverfront Centre. (Image: City of Trail)

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With the sale of Esplanade lands nearing a Sept. 30 closing date, Trail council is moving ahead with contemporary parking plans for the south end of town.

During the Monday governance meeting, the panel awarded Urban Systems a $53,000 contract for the re-design of a section of land that is not included in the city's transaction with BOAZ Enterprises, owners of the former Crown Point Hotel and adjacent parking area.

"Through the course of negotiations, it was determined that while BOAZ required parking for a certain number of vehicles for the hotel's purposes, they did not necessarily require all of Lot B; the remainder of which would be retained by the city for parking purposes to serve the Riverfront Centre …," noted Public Works Director Chris McIsaac.

"With the closing of the land sale proposed for the end of September 2017 and the opening of the Riverfront Centre in early 2018, the need to proceed with the detailed design and subsequent construction of the parking lot in a timely manner will be critical."

Lot B is located the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Helena Street or across the street from the Riverfront Centre.

Improving the area, which is currently a gravel lot, will include grading and storm water management, traffic circulation, lighting, signage, a pay-parking kiosk and landscaping.

Funding for the project, roughly estimated at approximately $400,000, will come from the Community Planning budget and will be split between the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

Earlier this year, city council gave BOAZ the green light for a traffic pattern change in downtown Trail.

The section of Spokane Street that splits the two Esplanade gravel lots will be permanently closed after the sale closes.

Shutting down the block nearest the river is to allow re-development of the former Crown Point into a boutique hotel, restaurant and conference centre.

Lot A, directly behind the old Crown Point, will be re-developed to provide parking spaces for exclusive use of the hotel.

That means there will be no direct vehicular access to the Esplanade from Spokane Street. Instead, all traffic will have to use Dewdney Avenue, which is a one-way southbound lane (back alley).

In the fall of 2016, BOAZ and city hall jointly announcing the $205,000 purchase of the Esplanade lots.

Since then, there's been plenty of behind-the-scenes preparation, including a downtown parking study and drawing up a new ordinance. In April, the process inched closer to finality when Trail council gave three readings to its "Highway Dedication Removal Bylaw." Essentially, the bylaw authorizes the closure of the road to traffic, thereby allowing the city to raise title and sell the property.

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