Greenfield approves design for new parking garage

Greenfield's downtown parking garage will provide up to 350 spaces

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Public parking is about to change in Greenfield. The Greenfield Planning Board approved a design for a new five-level, 350 space parking garage.

Downtown drivers said it’s about time. “I remember times where I had to drive around the block several times before I could find a parking space and that’s quite an inconvenience. I think this is going to be a lot better,” said Paul Sonier of South Deerfield.

Downtown parking changed when the renovated Franklin County Courthouse opened in February. Half of the parking spaces in the town’s nine parking lots became “permit parking”, and the other half “pay and display” to ensure visitors and employees had someplace to park.

“I anticipated it would be very much worse with the new courthouse,” said Mark Watkins of Shutesbury. “I just have to walk from here on Olive Street and I’ve always gotten a space here when I need one.”

The Olive Street Lot is right across the road from the Transit Center on Olive Street in Greenfield. The new five story parking garage is expected to be built in this area of the downtown.

Even with 1,036 spaces, parking is still tight downtown. “East Main Street has a serious parking crunch and a serious parking problem,” said Lane Kelly, Finance Director of Greenfield. “We just don’t have the lots to satisfy all the people who need parking.”

The new garage will cost $10-million and take about a year to complete. Construction starts this summer.

Kelly said the town will decide on a contractor to build the parking garage next week.