Avenidas Senior Center expects its building renovations will double the number of daily visitors, but it would not add parking spaces, officials told the public during a meeting on Wednesday night.
The nonprofit Avenidas currently has an allotment of 27 spaces from the city, and all staff members have parking permits for the Bryant Street garage. But the growing facility expects to double the number of daily visitors from 350 to 700 in the years after expanded facility opens. The city has not offered to provide any additional dedicated spaces in the existing parking lot behind the building, and Avenidas does not have any land of its own. The senior center is housed on city-owned property, Capital Project Manager Lisa Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson acknowledged that parking would be a top concern for downtown residents. A parking study by consultants Fehr and Peers determined the larger center would generate 210 additional car trips that would require parking, spread across the workday, Hendrickson said. However, that would entail only five net new trips during the morning commute and 14 new trips during the evening commute.
The study found that 58 percent of current participants drive to Avenidas; 18 percent walk; 13 percent carpool; 7 percent take public transportation; 3 percent are dropped off by auto; and 3 percent bike.
Lacking property, Avenidas is proposing to pay $2 million to the city's parking-assessment-district fund, which would allow the city to build additional parking facilities as it chooses.
Avenidas has asked the City of Palo Alto for $5 million towards the cost of the project. Senior center officials told City Manager Jim Keene the parking fee, cost of the seismic upgrade and replacement of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the building would be included in the request.
"Avenidas will pay the fee with the money that we raise for the project, which hopefully will include $5 million from the city," Hendrickson said in a follow-up email.
Avenidas is also exploring ways to prevent problems with shuttles as well as bike and scooter accommodations, Hendrickson said.
A public hearing is expected to take place before the City Council by the end of the year.