Breckenridge set on ‘footprint’ for new parking garage at Tiger Dredge lot
September 27, 2017
Breckenridge intends to start building a new parking structure this spring, and while town council had few problems Tuesday picking out the make and model, deciding on its paint job proved more difficult.
Walking Parking Consultants, the Denver-based firm that's designing the structure, came to Tuesday's work session with half a dozen specialists and five options for council to consider for the new parking structure at the Tiger Dredge parking lot.
Council previously identified Tiger Dredge — with some overlap into F-lot — as the most desirable location for a new parking structure. With that, Walker Parking Consultants looked at about 20 different possible designs for how the new parking garage might function before narrowing it down to two options, both of which come with flat floors and no parking on the ramps.
All council members were in attendance Tuesday, and they supported the second option for how the parking garage should work with little disagreement. It features an L-shaped parking garage with 406 structured spaces, 688 total spaces and access from Park and Adams avenues. Option 2 also came with increased landscaping opportunities and flexibility for the existing transit system along Adams Avenue. The biggest drawbacks were reduced transit flexibility and limited landscaping along Park Avenue.
On the upside, the second option included more options for amenities on Adams Avenue and could be cheaper to build, with less excavation work required.
"The layout piece is the biggest piece for today," Mayor Eric Mamula responded as council members sought cost estimates for the two options and town staff said they didn't think the two price tags would be too far apart.
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Also on the table was a decision regarding the parking structure's design, and Walker Parking Consultants produced three options — labeled A, B and C — for council to consider.
Complicating the decision, the two options presented for functionality could be mixed and matched with any one or a hybrid of the proposed architectural schemes.
Option A featured a design with a more "rustic feel," including a split roof, board-form concrete and timber trusses with black iron plates. Cars would be screened with steel mesh "in a nice architectural way that almost makes it look like windows."
At the same time, Option B came with a curved, barrel-vaulted roof and glue-laminated support beams. Option B took some cues from other designs seen around town, members of the design firm said while framing it as "a little bit new, a little fresh."
Lastly, Option C was described as a variation of Option B with the same curved barrel roof but cool colors and more modern additions that could give it a more contemporary look.
"Usually, when we do something like this, we find little gems along the way in each one (of the design options) so if there's something you like and you want to pull it into the other options as well, we can do that," a representative of Walker Parking Consultants told the council.
Councilman Mark Burke wasn't a fan of the modern designs and favored going with Option A.
Councilwoman Erin Gigliello also favored the style of Option A, keeping in line with existing designs around town, but she also liked the cool colors in Option C because she felt it looks more like the nearby Riverwalk Center.
"I feel like a Buddhist at a gun show," Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said when his turn came, explaining he'd rather hold off for a couple years but has resigned himself to helping build the best parking structure he can. "That said, I kind of like Option C with some of the more subtle colors of Option A."
It was the direct opposite of Gigliello's preference, and Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe added another wrinkle when she said she could be happy with any of the three options but B and C were her favorites.
"Between those two, I keep going back and forth," she said, explaining that she liked the idea of the parking garage being something different for the area while, at the same time, complimenting the Riverwalk Center.
"I think the landscaping and the softer barrel roof is going to make the eye just roll right past it," she said. "I think that's what we really want to achieve."
Elisabeth Lawrence compared picking a design to "choosing her favorite child," but she too was leaning toward Option C with some elements of B.
Ultimately, the council backed Option C but asked the design team to incorporate elements of Option B into the design.
Also, town staff said Tuesday that meetings with the Colorado Department of Transportation officials have been agreeable to the town's plan to build the parking structure first and later construct a new roundabout at Village Road and South Park Avenue.
Town manager Rick Holman explained the reasoning behind it like this: "If we can build the structure first, we're not losing as much parking. We'll have a place to park people while we shut F-lot down during construction of the roundabout so we think, for its impact to the town, that makes a lot more sense."
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