Restaurants and retails shops will occupy the first floor of Harbor Place and there will be office space on upper floors, said Lisa Alberghini, president of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs.
Alberghini said construction of the $18 million building is expected to begin in the fall and take 18 to 24 months. The job is expected to generate about 150 construction jobs, according to a press release about the project.
The entire sweeping Merrimack Street Ventures development is likely to top $80 million, officials said. Later phases include the demolition of several more large buildings on Merrimack Street which will be replaced by mixed-use projects with ground floor retail and hundreds of condominiums and apartments on upper floors.
Fiorentini said a survey showed there are about 100 spaces available between both floors of the parking deck at any given time, except on snow days, when it sees heavy use by postal trucks, police vehicles, and residents looking for off-street parking.
“There aren’t 100 extra spaces on snow days so we need to come up with a snow plan,” the mayor said.
In addition to asking for 100 spaces be declared surplus, Fiorentini will also ask for $5,000 to hire a parking consultant.
“We’re also working on coming up with additional spaces, including at Haverhill Place, where parking could be added,” Fiorentini said about the small parking lot just north of the parking deck. “We could also add another 10 to 20 spaces to Bailey Boulevard by doing more diagonal parking.”
Fiorentini said that until the city can issue a request for proposals, it can’t enter an agreement with Harbor Place.
He said that agreement could include leasing spaces and selling a number of permit spaces.
In an unrelated issue, Fiorentini said he wants the parking consultant to look into ways of making the downtown paid parking plan simpler and easier for people to understand. The plan went into effect in August of 2012 and has resulted in numerous complaints by drivers, many of whom have received tickets.