A parking garage proposed for the downtown historic area of McKinney has met with criticism from residents and business owners. The new garage is planned for an existing lot between Louisiana and Virginia Streets, just over a block from the old courthouse that has been the anchor of the downtown square for years.

Bond Package

On November 3, residents are being asked to vote on a bond package to complete $160 million worth of projects in the city. One of those projects is a $10 million five-story parking garage that includes a basement. City leaders say that the façade of the building will mimic storefronts in the historic area. Despite those assurances, some in the city are concerned that the garage will be an eyesore that will not compliment the downtown area. For this reason, there are many signs cropping up throughout town urging townspeople to vote “no” on Proposition 5, which will be on the ballot in November.

Historic Center

McKinney’s historic center consists of unique boutiques, bars and cafes that are surrounded by older homes. A rendering of the parking garage showed an exterior with awnings, small windows and finishes that resemble brick and stone, much like buildings that already exist in McKinney’s square. At its highest point the garage will only be slightly higher than a nearby office building and hotel. The location was chosen after many months of public deliberation. City leaders say that if the proposition fails, they will delay plans for a parking garage for the foreseeable future.

Parking Issues

Public and private lots near the city center provide only 2,576 parking spaces and a 2014 study found that peak occupancy in the downtown area was around 52 percent. Parking becomes a problem closer to the courthouse and more than half the parking is more than two blocks from the square. Often, the spaces near the courthouse are full or mostly full, although large parking lots a few blocks away remain empty. For this reason, many business owners believe that better lighting and signage would be a better option than a new parking garage. Other business owners say that customers often complain about the lack of parking in the downtown area, feeling that the new parking garage would increase foot traffic and business in the downtown area.

The city reviewed two other locations before choosing the current proposed placement of the garage. One site would have been much more expensive because the city would have to purchase the land and the other location had traffic access problems. AAA Air is a proud member of the McKinney community. If you are considering replacement of your HVAC system, contact us today to see how we can help. We can provide an overview of your system and recommend steps that will keep your system operating smoothly both in the winter and the summer. Give us a call or visit us online to learn how we can keep your HVAC system running efficiently.

McKinney Courier Gazette