Local Cooper-Young Business Workers Discuss Parking Garage

The CYCA held a meeting to introduce the design for the new, proposed parking garage in the heart of Cooper-Young. The residents shared their thoughts and opinions, both for and against the idea. But what about the businesses and their employees that will be affected by this decision?

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  1. The first stop was Java Cabana. This coffee shop is right across the street where the structure would be built. Courtney Fly, who has worked there for four years, did see both sides of the argument. She understood the potential benefits the garage could bring, but said that it's not in "the personality of Cooper-Young."
  2. Next up, just down the street from Java Cabana is Halford Loudspeakers. This business too, is across the street from the possible construction site. Owner David Halford is not in favor of the parking garage. His concerns were focused on the short term effects, that could possibly have long-term, negative effects. The structure would take from 9-18 months to build, and would require use of heavy machinery and equipment. "I don't think anyone wants to see heavy machinery sitting outside of their front window," Halford said. Both he and Mary Burns, owner of Java Cabana, share the same concern of "all the cluttering" outside their businesses.
  3. Going back the opposite way on Young Avenue, sits Imagine Vegan Café. This business just moved from the same building where Halford Loudspeakers currently resides. So this business was not right in front of the possible construction site, but close nonetheless. Imagine owner Adam Jeffrey was neither in favor nor against. As he stated, "I just don't know enough about it to make a decision." He did however, understand the point of views of the other business owners, and also the possibility of the construction process "turning people away" who may be visiting from out of town or locally.
  4. The last stop was Midtown Market. This convenience store sits on Cooper Street, so another business that is close to the site, but not staring right at it. Owner Kevin Park thought the garage would be a good idea for the neighborhood. His focus was on the safety and security aspect. "If there was just one structure, it would make it easier for security to patrol, instead of a lot of places scattered across the neighborhood." One of the issues mentioned at the CYCA meeting was how would the garage be maintained as far as security measures. His closing thoughts were the possibility of another location to build the garage, like closer to Overton Square, which is the neighborhood just outside Cooper-Young.
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