Private firm plans parking lot downtown

Site of 2014 fire to be developed

-Messenger photo illustration by Joe Sutter
A new parking lot may be built in this vacant lot at the corner of First Avenue North and North 11th Street, at left, in this image made from multiple photos. The land is owned by the same company that owns the building at the northeast corner, at right, housing Legacy Realty on the first floor and apartments on upper floors. The lot was the site of a historic building which burned down in 2014.

A new parking lot will likely be built on the site of a former church that burned down in 2014 at the corner of First Avenue North and 11th Street.

The Fort Dodge Board of Adjustment approved the request Tuesday made by McClure Engineering on behalf of Royal Properties LLC.

Royal Properties owns the building at the opposite corner as well, at 1100 First Ave. N.

“It’s a structure they have rehabilitated for commercial on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors,” said Maggie Carlin, Fort Dodge associate city planner.

Board member Jeanne Gibson has faith the company would do a good job.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
The Fort Dodge Board of Adjustment approved plans to build a parking lot at this vacant lot at the corner of First Avenue North and 11th Street, to serve a business and apartments on the opposite corner. The lot was the site of a historic former church which burned down in 2014.

“I’ve seen the exterior of the building they’ve rehabbed, and it’s gorgeous,” she said.

The project will include landscaping, trees and shrubs and black fencing like is seen on other downtown parking lots, Carlin said.

Board of Adjustment approval was needed to build a parking lot in the downtown core. This is mostly to ensure that the city’s historic district designation is protected, and that the city’s parking study is followed.

The property once held an 1880s structure that was classified as a contributing structure of the city’s designated Historic District, Carlin said. But since it burned down in 2014, this is no longer a consideration.

The parking study recognizes shortfalls that may develop, and the new use of the building shows the need for the lot here.

The site plan for this parking lot project was granted conditional site plan approval by city staff on July 12, subject to the Board of Adjustment’s consideration for special exception approval. As part of this site plan review process, city engineering took into account the proposed flow of traffic lot relative to the existing traffic patterns of the area.

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