Public voices input on parking deck redevelopment

New details emerge in Houghton’s parking deck redevelopment planning
The Houghton parking deck is a staple to the city, but needs to be replaced.
The Houghton parking deck is a staple to the city, but needs to be replaced.(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 10:59 PM EDT

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The aging Houghton parking deck’s time is running out. In a special meeting, members of the community shared ideas for its replacement.

A majority advocated for a new, more optimized parking deck.

“You need to have parking downtown,” said Houghton Resident and Geologist Brad Baltensperger. “It certainly makes more sense to have a parking deck than to spread parking out over an entire surface for three blocks.”

Houghton Resident Shannon Healy suggests redevelopment could include more than just a new parking deck.

“I think developing the waterfront, whether that is with parking, with business, with social green space... I think a mix of all of those things is really important,” said Healy.

Many are concerned that Shelden Ave. businesses would be negatively impacted if there were no parking deck at all. As most, if not all are easily accessible by car via the parking deck.

Residents also voiced another concern at the meeting.

“People are moving back to the North, they’re moving back to places that are more rural, but they want good quality housing,” said Baltensperger.

Another suggestion for the waterfront included space for self-sustaining and taxable city revenue. Such as housing for those at middle to upper incomes.

“I think it would be great, I don’t currently live downtown. But I have friends that do and they love it,” said Healy. “They’re close to restaurants and bars downtown, they really enjoy that. I definitely think there’s an opportunity for more down there.”

Wednesday’s input is crucial in moving forward.

Attendees voted on ideas and a report will then be created for the city council to review. After that, the council is expected to hold another public meeting in mid-October to plan further.

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