Planned hotel could bring parking woes for downtown Huntsville business

Planned hotel could bring parking woes for downtown Huntsville business

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Downtown Huntsville is growing, and it’s putting parking spots at a premium.

The latest addition to the area will begin construction in January. A new Hyatt Hotel at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Holmes Avenue will bring 145 new rooms to the downtown area.

It will replace a parking lot Robert Seaman’s accounting business has been using for employee parking.

He said the business has two spots reserved for customers nearby, but changing parking lot ownership means those likely won’t be available in the near future.

The next best option for his customers now is the Clinton Avenue Parking Garage.

“My feeling about Clinton is that it should become as transient and temporary as possible,” Seaman said.

"Because that’s where everyone in Huntsville knows to go, and if you’re going to come downtown that’s the easiest spot to get. "

The city offered him spots for his employees at the Clinton Avenue, but Seaman said he would prefer those spaces are kept available for his clients.

Starting Sept. 1, he and his staff will be walking nearly half a mile from the VBC parking lot to work.

“My clients walking from over by the VBC to here is a lot different than my staff,” he said.

“If Clinton doesn’t work out as a temporary place for my clients to park, I don’t have a solution at this point.”

The city’s solution is the construction of the Greene Street parking garage, but that won’t finish until late 2020 at the earliest.

It'll provide 490 new spaces, but 205 will be designated for the Hyatt.

City Administrator John Hamilton said for now, there is space in Clinton.

“We do routine surveys throughout the day, and we’re in the middle of a survey period right now. We’re seeing that there is space throughout the day,” he said.

Seaman said the city has been helpful, but he’s still hearing his clients struggle to find space.

“I’m like any other business man, if it starts affecting my business bad enough, I’m going to have to find another location,” he said.

Hamilton said the city is also working to expand VBC parking, and the Monroe Street parking deck.

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