The Charlotte City Council agreed Monday to the terms of a $125,000 purchase agreement to acquire a large portion of the city parking currently owned by Chestnut Development. The portion in question was previously owned by Bank of America before being purchased at an auction in 2012.
The purchase agreement includes the former bank drive through, located between Bostwick and Sheldon streets next to the First Congregational Church. City Manager Gregg Guetschow said the two parcels represent a significant number of parking spaces — 48 to 50 in the lot behind the former Bank of America building alone.
The city will purchase the two parcels using funds it has set aside for parking lot improvement projects.
“We have been setting money aside each and every year for upgrading paring lots,” Guetschow said. “The next project we had in mind to do was the Corral lot, which we are planning to move forward with, but we’re now likely going to have to push that back a year. It just makes good sense that if we are investing in parking, we should invest in the actual lot itself.”
In the past, the City has had a lease agreement in place with whichever bank had previously owned the three parcels of land — the building on Cochran Avenue, a portion of the lot behind the building and the drive through. That changed about a decade ago, Guetschow said when the city reached a licensing agreement with Bank of America for the use of the parking lot. That agreement, however, was voided with the sale of the building.
“We tried to secure the property when it came up for auction, but were unsuccessful,” Guetschow said. “We haven’t had anything but a handshake deal with the new owner since he purchased the property. Obviously there are no guarantees that, if he sold the property, we couldn’t run into a serious problem. So, the council decided this was the right thing to do.”
Guetschow said there are no immediate plans in place for the parcel that contains the former drive through bank.
“We may tear down the building to add additional parking, or we may look to sell it,” he said. “We will have to evaluate it as we go.”