St. Petersburg Times Online: Business
 Devil Rays Forums

printer version

Curtain rises on BayWalk parking

For 90 days, parking will be free after 5 p.m. and weekends in the garage. Think twice about just parking in the neighborhood.


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 26, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evening and weekend patrons of the BayWalk shopping center will park for free in the center's garage at first but should be wary of parking in nearby neighborhoods.

The garage will cost $1 per half-hour and a maximum of $6 per day before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, said Phil Oropesa, St. Petersburg parking manager. The garage will be free after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturdays and Sundays for the first 90 days after the complex opens.

BayWalk's developer, the Sembler Co., Muvico Theaters and city officials will re-evaluate the system after 90 days and set permanent rates for the 1,368-space garage, which will serve the complex going up between Second and Third avenues N between First and Second streets.

The garage cost $11.5-million, most of which was paid by the city. Parkway Properties owns one level of the garage that is open to the public on evenings and weekends.

"We're going to recommend either continuing this system or going to some form of validation (for moviegoers)," said Oropesa, adding that city leaders must decide the best method to repay the bonds needed to fund the garage's construction.

After that initial period, Oropesa said, those headed to BayWalk's 20-screen theater might pay a reduced rate of $1 to $2 with proof of purchase of a movie ticket. Parking rates could be "significantly higher" for non-moviegoers or those who stay longer than the time of the movie, he said.

And while it may be tempting to skirt the fees by parking in nearby neighborhoods, city leaders and community activists have implemented a system that will make patrons think twice.

The North Downtown Neighborhood Association (NoDo) persuaded parking officials to reduce the parking limit in the neighborhood from two hours to 90 minutes for non-residents. This, NoDo president Tim Clemmons hopes, will discourage theater customers from trying to squeeze in a movie without paying to park.

Residents who have $15 neighborhood parking stickers would be exempt. Only parking spaces where the two-hour limit currently exists would be affected.

But as a compromise with other downtown merchants, the west side of Beach Drive will remain two-hour parking and will no longer allow those with resident parking passes to stay longer.

Clemmons said both sides were pleased with the deal, which limits BayWalk customers' infringement on the neighborhood while not driving away customers for Beach Drive merchants.

"That seemed like a reasonable compromise," he said.

BayWalk is expected to open in September, and officials hope to have the new neighborhood parking signs and the garage open several weeks in advance.

Back to St. Petersburg area news

Back to Top
© St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.

  • Car wash turns into shootout
  • Curtain rises on BayWalk parking
  • Past might force couple from home
  • Boardwalk opens beach to disabled
  • Slighted couple give up on yacht club
  • Delinquent PODS go on auction block
  • Young drivers: A life is in your hands
  • This woman stands out, crisis or not
  • School tax rate might drop a little
  • Alligator seen in Boca Ciega
  • Pinellas Park theater to close
  • Giddiness breaks out as Pinellas breaks away
  • Consultant to examine police department
  • Huge oak crashes down in back yard during storm
  • Disabled people, computers to click at the main library
  • Police chief's memo takes issue with bias complaint
  • Save-A-Lot may take the place of Publix
  • Lightning Bolts snap back
  • Protests over Publix closing strengthen
  • Treasure Island seeks to staff beach center
  • Next victory for Armstrong might be in Sydney
  • Personnel missives