Granada Garage Half-Full at Best

The parking structure at the corner of Anapamu and Anacapa streets in downtown, popularly known as the Granada Garage, has been touted by the city as the solution to the street parking shortage. Built in conjunction with the restoration of the Granada Theatre, the multilevel, 575-space garage replaced a surface lot of 210 parking spaces. However, residents complain that the garage goes widely unused and was poorly planned. For example, a miscalculation of the width of Anacapa Street in the design actually reduced the amount of street parking available since the city had to create a turning lane to correct the error.

Recent figures from a Downtown Parking Committee report show that the Granada Garage in 2007 had fewer transactions than Lot 6 in 2003. Only during Fiesta week, when Granada parking peaked at 85 percent occupancy, did the garage surpass its predecessor. Even in the bustling month of December, occupancy crested at 47 percent - or approximately 265 of the total 575 spaces. Furthermore, the same report shows that when compared to downtown garages of similar size, the Granada Garage generated just over half the revenue of other garages. Despite the criticisms, the committee maintains the garage is performing above expectations as gradual progress is made each month. With the March reopening of the Granada Theatre quickly advancing, hopes hinge on a strong boost in occupancy rates at the garage from theater patrons.

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