Ferndale 360 Project problematic for business owners - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Ferndale 360 Project problematic for business owners

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To many, the mention of the city of Ferndale is synonymous with parking nightmares. From the parallel parking to the pay stations, there's always something to complain about. But a new proposal from Ferndale's Downtown Development Authority really has local business owners hot and bothered.

George Gize has owned Assaggi Bistro for the last 15 years, and says the parking structure proposal called the 360 Project is a business killer and his restaurant would not survive 18-24 months of parking drama.

"Just be careful what you do," Gize said. "Without us you have no growth."

Matt Weiman from 9 Lives Tattoo parlor feels the same way. He and George are just two of 38 Ferndale business owners against the city's proposal, citing irreversible damage to their bottom lines.

"A lot of us rely on the parking that is available right now and if that was closed off then you are cutting down the traffic of people that will drive down here," Weiman said.

The current plan would allow an exclusive developer to close the Withington and W. Troy parking lots at the same time and build parking structures with retail, office, and living space in their place. Christina Sheppard-Decius, director of Ferndale's Downtown Development Authority, says nothing is a sure thing.

"Right now it's just in the preliminary planning stages," Sheppard-Decius said. "We don't have as strong or robust of a daytime economy and having office workers working right in the downtown area would definitely help our businesses here."
 
The final town hall meeting was today at 5:30 p.m. The DDA will now take all public concerns and create a revised plan which it will present in the fall.



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