Frequently Asked Questions - Downtown Parking

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The Downtown Revitalization Project is a Public/Private partnership many years in the making.  Opportunities for citizen input on the Downtown plan were provided over the years, as far back as 2005 and culminating with three community design workshops in 2011.  The resulting revitalization is the product of much hard work, compromise, and collaboration.  As part of the downtown revitalization plan, abundant free public parking was identified early on as a desire of the public.

In 2011, Palm Springs voters approved Measure J, a dedicated local revenue measure in the form of a 1% sales tax increase to maintain local community services and revitalize Downtown.

The City purchased existing parking structures (above and below grade) that had previously been owned by Wessman Development (now Grit Development) in connection with their ownership of the Desert Fashion Plaza.  Also included in the purchase is the land where the new streets now exist (the continuation of Belardo Road, the continuation of W. Andreas Road, and Museum Way).

The City also purchased the land (Block D) where the new City Park will be located, and parcels (H1 and H2) located at the corner of Museum Drive and Museum Way, opposite the Palm Springs Art Museum.

At completion, the Downtown Revitalization Project will provide approximately 1,000 public parking spaces, with an additional 435 parking spaces privately owned and available as valet parking spaces or spaces for tenants of the commercial buildings located within the Downtown Revitalization Project.

Questions and Answers

Q.  How many total spaces did the City of Palm Springs purchase?
A.   Approximately 1,000

Q.  What was the price paid per parking space?
A.  The City paid $32 million as the fair market value for approximately five acres of real property that included developed parking facilities (underground, surface, and above ground structures) and new public streets (Belardo Road extension, Andreas Road extension, Museum Way), as well as approximately two acres of underground air space easements for public parking extending underneath privately owned lands (i.e., under West Elm building, and another two parcels yet to be developed). 

Q.  Are any city-owned parking spaces used for any reserved or "permitted only" use?
A.  The Council designated some portions of the public spaces to be used for employee permit parking as a means of ensuring the most favorable parking is available to the public and not used by employees.  Initially, these employee parking areas will be available to both the general public and employees with permits; however, employees will be authorized to park for 12-hours, whereas the general public is limited to a 4-hour time limit.

Certain commercial/office tenants and future residential tenants will park in privately owned and maintained parking lots:  a 70-space lot behind the West Elm Building, a 58-space temporary parking lot at the northwest corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Belardo Road (valet parking for the Rowan Hotel), and a 173-space underground parking lot beneath "Block B", between Andreas Road and Museum Way.  A future 105-space underground parking lot is planned at the southwest corner of Museum Way and Belardo Road which is currently unimproved.  A future temporary 35-space parking lot is also planned at the southwest corner of Museum Drive and Belardo Road for restaurant/hotel valet parking.  Therefore, in addition to the 1,000+/- public spaces, there will also be 435 +/- private parking spaces available.

Q.  Are all of the city-owned parking spaces open to the public?
A.  Yes.  The public will be entitled to utilize retail employee spaces, but will still be limited to the 4-hour time limit.

Q.  Is the lot west of The Rowan Hotel public parking or reserved for Rowan valet use?
A. The small lot immediately west of the Rowan Hotel is owned by Grit Development for future development as commercial and residential use.  Until this parcel is developed it will be used as a temporary parking lot for valet parking of Rowan Hotel guests.

Q. Is there a map showing the locations of the parking purchased by the City of Palm Springs?
A. Yes, you may view the locations by clicking here and viewing the FREE Downtown Parking webpage.

Q.  What parking is open to the public now?
A. Approximately half of the public parking, designated as the "North Parking", opened officially on December 14, 2017, and consists of the parking facilities extending under the West Elm building out to Museum Drive.  The remaining public parking, designated as the "South Parking", is scheduled to open on or before April 30, 2018.

Q.  When will time limits be established for street parking spaces in the Downtown Project?
A.  All on-street parking spaces have been designated as 20-minute time limited ("green") parking zones, with the exception of one 20-minute time limited ("yellow") loading zone at the northeast corner of Museum Way at Belardo Road, and two 5-minute time limited ("white") pick-up/drop-off spaces are intended for use by Transportation Network Companies ("TNCs") such as Uber, Lyft, Postmates (deliveries), and GrubHub, which will benefit all downtown businesses.

Q.  Are the Rowan's hotel guests going to use the City-owned parking?
A.  Public parking is available to all customers, employees, etc., of all of the hotel, retail, office, residential buildings within the Downtown Revitalization Project.  The public parking spaces will be closed from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM to prevent hotel guests from parking overnight.  Thus, the Rowan Hotel guests will be required to park in designated private parking lots.  Currently the guests are being parked in the private valet lot at the northwest corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Belardo Road.  Overnight parking in public parking spaces is not allowed.

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