Parking garage

Expansion of this parking garage in Kennett Square will add 92 spaces and construction will likely begin by the end of the year.

KENNETT SQUARE—A $2 million expansion to Kennett Square’s public parking garage could be ready by the end of the year.

Joe Scalise, borough manager, said he met with design consultants this week, and a bid package will go out before the end of this month.

The expansion of the parking garage, located at East Linden and North Union streets, will add another 92 parking spaces to the existing 350 parking spaces available now. But 310 of those spaces are designated as permitted parking spots, and Genesis Health Ventures currently uses 340 spaces.

“The majority is pre-cast concrete, and there is a significant lead time on pre-cast concrete,” Scalise said. “It could be up in 10 months. We are hoping to get it done this year, but that will depend on pre-cast suppliers and who actually gets the bid.”

The funding is already in place, and none of it will come from Kennett Square taxpayers. Borough officials received a $500,000 grant from the county, and $750,000 from the state, although most of that funding won’t be reimbursed until most of the project is completed. The remaining portion will come from the borough’s parking fund, which Scalise said is self-sustaining.

The make room for the parking garage expansion, the borough will demolish the long-vacant District Justice Center, on the corner of East Linden and Broad streets. At Monday’s council meeting, council approved a certificate of appropriateness, recommended by the borough’s Historical and Architectural Review Board. The bricks façade of the new structure will closely match the existing one.

“We were really concerned the bricks wouldn’t match after 20 years, but we found a really, really close match,” Scalise said.

Public parking meters will be installed at the new garage expansion. Parking is $1 per hour, with a three-hour maximum. The rate for permitted spaces at the parking garage is $700 per year.

Demand is high for new parking, in part because the borough’s population has spiked in the past decade as the town has experienced resurgence. Population has increased 20 percent in Kennett Square since 2000.

Matt Fetick, Kennett Square mayor, said parking issues have always been a problem in town.

“Parking and traffic and speeding are by far the things people are concerned about,” he said. “It never changes.”

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