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New parking for Magnolia Park

September 25, 2004

Mark R. Madler

A new 52-space parking lot was among the projects City Council

members approved as part of a plan to boost local interest in the

Magnolia Park area.

The parking lot is at the Burbank Community Church, 3310 W.

Magnolia Blvd., but the city would be allowed to use it for shoppers

and store employee parking when the church did not need it.

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Council members on Tuesday amended their budget to allocate

$125,000 from the city's development agency to improve the parking

lot. The estimated total cost for the improvements is $250,000.

The city has already budgeted $275,000 for Magnolia Park

improvements.

"To jointly own new parking spaces at about $5,000 per space would

be a great deal," Councilman Jef Vander Borght said. "In today's

market as soon as you buy the land and do improvements you are

looking at $40,000 to $50,000 per space."

Councilman Dave Golonski was alarmed, however, by the cost of the

lot improvements and wondered if the work could be done for less

money.

Jack Lynch, a senior project manager in the Community Development

Department, said the $250,000 for the parking lot is a preliminary

figure and the department is looking to lower that amount.

A plan for the lot improve- ments and a shared-use parking

agreement will come before the council in December.

The plan was the result of focus groups and a resident survey of

what needed to be done in the Magnolia Park neighborhood bounded by

Buena Vista Street, Clark Avenue, Chandler Boulevard, and the western

city limits. Priorities are landscaping upgrades, retail leasing, and

parking.

Other work the plan calls for are bike racks to be paid with

transportation funds; attracting and retaining new retail and

restaurant uses; and branding Magnolia Park with year-round banners

and continuing special events such as Holiday in the Park.

The council also approved filling three vacancies on the 15-member

Magnolia Park Community Advisory Committee. The vacancies were

created by the departure of three members who were business owners.

Council members praised the committee's work and the participation

from storeowners and residents.

"We are going to see dynamic things happen in Magnolia Park,"

Councilwoman Stacey Murphy said.

Councilman Todd Campbell said the committee has set a model for

what other neighborhoods in the city can accomplish.

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