Just in time for the city’s upcoming busy tourist season that kicks off next month, Mount Dora will open a new downtown parking lot late Tuesday afternoon. The new grass lot on the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Baker Street will have 49 spaces, including two handicapped spots. The cost for each parking space is $16,285 for the land only. The cost for design, engineering, creating the lot and landscaping is additional. The new lot brings the total number of downtown parking spaces to 769. The spaces range in size from 8 1/2 to 9 feet wide, which will accommodate compact cars only according to the City’s code.
In 2018, the City purchased the property for $798,000as part of City’s long-term plan to expand the number of downtown parking spaces. At that time, the City estimated the property would accommodate 60 to 85 spaces.
The new grass parking lot’s spaces are laid out in a geogrid of rock with Bahia sod. This allows for the absorption of rain and moisture into the grid, so a retention pond isn’t required. According to the City, the geogrid is durable enough to support the weight of vehicles, but it’s unclear how the new sod will not be killed by the continual parking of cars or how the markings will remain after mowing.
To date, no specific plan for a downtown parking garage is scheduled to come before the City Council. The post office property was considered an option, but that property was sold after negotiations ended with the City.
The SunTrust Bank property was also informally discussed. A public-private partnership with G3 Development which could incorporate property owned by the developer on Baker Street, as well as the city-owned parking lot, is still a possible option, but it is not currently being discussed.