It's been a little while since we provided an update on the progress of the Prospector buildings in Golden, so we wanted to take a minute and explain where we are.
Last month, we asked city council for preliminary approval to allow us to use some of the parking spaces in the adjacent garage in order to fulfill the project’s parking requirements per the city code. This is a common occurrence, especially with smaller infill projects like this. There will be a total of 30 underground parking spaces in garages under each building, which is the most that can physically fit under each lot and still allow for ramps, driveways, etc. However, most cities (including Golden) require a certain ratio of parking spaces to be built for a certain size building, to accommodate the people who will end up using it. Many times this ratio is conservative. In any event, it is difficult for a smaller project like this to supply all of its own parking, so the city is asked to allow parking in a municipal garage to count towards the requirement.
Council's response showed a surprisingly common misconception about the topic of parking in downtown Golden. They wanted more information on this project's effects on the "tight" parking situation. It might seem that there aren't many available spaces in the two garages on Jackson Street and in the immediate area, and that replacing these two surface lots with buildings would make it worse, but the city's own parking studies tell more of an opportunity to better use the parking we already have. Parking in the East Downtown area is occupied at between about 25 - 60% occupancy depending on the time of day and day of week, which leaves several hundred parking spots vacant at any given time. The key is in using them more efficiently.
We have hired a very well respected parking consultant to help prepare a report detailing the parking situation as it is currently and what the future will look like, not only after this project is built but over the coming years. We look forward to presenting it to council soon, and working with the city's residents to continue making downtown Golden the absolute best it can be.