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Dunedin Receives Future of the Region Award

Post Date:05/21/2018

Future of the Region award from Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

The City of Dunedin is honored to receive the Future of the Region award from Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council under Transportation and Mobility for the innovative Monroe Street Parking Garage. Thanks to the partnership with Kokokakis Contracting who shares in the award.

Transportation & Mobility 

  • Improve access to products and services throughout the region and connectivity between housing and employers.
  • Promote multi-modal transportation (automobiles, semi-autonomous vehicles, public transit, ride sharing, bicycles and pedestrians).
  • Ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes of transportation, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled.

Background on the Monroe St. Parking Garage:The City of Dunedin, City Commission and City Staff worked with the owner of 940 & 966 Douglas Avenue on a mixed-use project that features apartments, retail space and a public parking garage.  The signature element of this multi-faceted development is a 195 parking space garage built for the public through a creative partnership between the developer and the City of Dunedin. With a parking garage cost (not including land) coming close to $5,000,000 to own and the city having limited funds available, the city began to view alternative options to having a parking garage built downtown. This translated into the City utilizing funds ($1,974,674) from a British Petroleum (BP) settlement to go toward buying down a 20 year lease with the developer that resulted in making lease payments affordable at $115,000 per year and paid by the Community Redevelopment Agency where funds were available. The positives of going in this direction to build the garage are numerous and include the following:

  • Overall cost to implement the parking garage required 40% less capital as compared to an outright build and own.
  • The garage was able to be built much quicker as the developer was already mobilized and could deliver the 195 space parking in a fast track mode
  • Keeping the garage in private hands allowed the property to remain on the property tax rolls to provide an annual revenue stream to the city
  • The city is not responsible for future infrastructure needs as the garage gets older
  • The city is not put at risk with future mobility changes such as the presence of autonomous cars or increased usage of services such as Uber and Lyft.

    In addition to the many positives noted with the creative lease structure the city also greatly benefited from having the garage built in a central location downtown and adjacent to the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail. The garage now acts as its own activity center supporting area merchants and fueling the revitalization of downtown by strengthening Dunedin as the place to start and end your day when using the Pinellas Trail. The parking garage also serves many other interests and these include designated spaces for golf cart users, along with unique and decorative bike racks for cyclists. Its impact though is not just multi-modal as the new parking garage serves as an economic attraction and enabled staff & the developer to recruit the long term goal of having a market downtown, that being Natures Food Patch.

    A final point to mention is the garage has been built to Florida Green Building standards, and incorporates many energy efficiency elements. A commitment of approximately $250,000 was made by the developer on items such as LED lighting, high efficiency air filters, recyclable materials, low maintenance finishes, local materials manufacturer, local materials extraction, Green website, reclaimed water for irrigation, storm water pollution prevention plan, erosion and sedimentation control, bicycle storage, rainwater collection, automated lighting controls, light colored building exterior, tree preservation, shaded covered hardscape, Green cleaning, non-Cypress mulch, are some of the energy efficiency elements submitted in pursuit of a Platinum Green Building designation.

    In summary the benefits of the new parking garage include the following:

  • Economic development, support for area merchants and as an attraction, Nature Food Patch
  • Promote multi-modal transportation for vehicles, golf carts, bicycles along with reducing the need for people to search the downtown for a parking space
  • Green building and energy efficiency

$1,974,674 as a buy down on a 20 year lease with an annual payment of $115,000. In addition the developer paid $250,000 for various Green Building elements.

City Commission, Community Redevelopment Agency, Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee, City Staff and Kokolakis Contracting

City of Dunedin in Partnership with Kokolakis