Photo Credit: Blake Aued
Nichols Land & Investment Co. has filed plans with Athens-Clarke County to build a parking deck adjacent to The News Building, home of the Athens Banner-Herald.
The 91,830 square-foot, five-story deck will be located at the current site of a loading dock behind the building on Foundry Street and will be accessible from the parking lot on Thomas Street between The News Building and the Classic Center, according to Athens-Clarke County planner Gavin Hassemer. Two stories of the deck will be visible from Thomas Street.
The deck’s 187 spaces will bring the building’s total parking to 330 spaces, Hassemer said.
In the wake of a bankruptcy, the Banner-Herald’s parent company, Augusta-based Morris Publishing Group, sold the building to a Colorado company called Lulscal in 2011 and moved what remained of the paper’s staff into a portion of the first floor.
Lulscal, represented by Nichols, has been attempting to lease out the rest of the space with limited success. More than 35,000 square feet of office space is currently available.
Hassemer said he didn’t know why the deck is being built, so it’s unclear whether it will be open to the public or serve only News Building tenants.
Demand for structured parking has risen recently as existing downtown buildings that lack parking have been renovated into residential space.