Saints ballpark to eliminate more parking spaces

The new downtown ballpark for the Saint Paul Saints will eliminate as many as 70 more parking spaces than previously predicted.

A detailed analysis of the project’s impact estimates it will gobble up 320 parking spaces. The city previously put the loss at only 250.

Asked to explain the discrepancy, the mayor’s office sent along this chart.

parking loss comparison 3-8-2013.jpg

Market House is a condominium near the ballpark site in Lowertown. Its parking lot (highlighted in blue below) sits behind what will be home plate.

markethouse parking.jpg

The city is in the process of condemning the lot and negotiating compensation with residents who’ll lose their spaces.

Even before the revised estimate, some Lowertown residents raised concerns about a parking crunch. But the city points out there are approximately 6,800 spaces within six blocks of the ballpark site — more than enough to accommodate the 2,700 vehicles it expects to stream downtown on game days.

People, not parking

Parking was also a flashpoint in this week’s debate over widening a nearby sidewalk to allow more outdoor seating in front of The Bulldog, Barrio and the Bin wine bar.

The city council gave that project the green light Wednesday after hearing half an hour of passionate testimony.

“We don’t have a parking problem,” said developer Dave Brooks, who owns one of the buildings on the block. “We have people problem. If we didn’t have it, Macy’s would be here.”

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