No money for Cooper-Young parking deck in Memphis budget
A $3.4 million request to the City of Memphis to build a proposed parking deck on Young Avenue was not included in the city’s final budget approved June 25, leaving the future of the proposal unclear.
The Cooper-Young Business Association put the project forward as a solution to parking congestion in the entertainment and retail district, and had plans drawn up by Pensacola, Fla.-based Structured Parking Solutions. They asked the city to completely fund the project in a May 21 presentation, and council member Janis Fullilove asked for the money to be included in the city’s budget as the budget process was winding down in late June, but council members cited a tight budget this year, with council member Wanda Halbert calling the request “next to impossible.”
When the dust of the budget process cleared, there was no money included in the final document.
Charlie Ryan, the Cooper-Young businessman who spearheaded the effort and owned much of the land where the structure was proposed, did not respond to a request for comment on the project’s status. Tamara Cook, director of the CYBA, said she hadn’t heard any news and didn’t know what the next step for the parking deck might be — or whether the project would proceed at all.
Cooper-Young residents and business owners were divided in their opinions on the proposal. In a poll of 364 respondents, a slim majority expressed support for the parking deck idea, while 36 percent opposed. Seventy-five percent agreed that there were too few parking spaces in the district, but many people also expressed support for ideas other than a parking deck.
In 2012, the city approved $16 million to build a 450-space parking garage and detention pond for nearby Overton Square.