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Granada Garage Yet to Meet Capacity

After 16 months in operation, the number of people using the city’s newest parking structure garage-the $26 million, five-story Granada garage-has yet to equal the number who used its predecessor, the one-story lot located behind the Granada Theater. Despite the urgent need for more parking claimed by city traffic officials and downtown business leaders, the peak occupancy of the Granada has hovered between a low of 31 percent in September and 40 percent this February. Even in December-typically the busiest month of the year-occupancy was only 32 percent. City transportation czar Browning Allen insisted the numbers were not as bleak as they appeared, arguing that the Granada has outperformed two comparably sized lots-the one by Nordstrom and the one on the 600 block of Anacapa Street-at the same stage of their infancy. In addition, Allen suggested that the high number of vacant storefronts in the neighborhood coupled with active construction projects might have discouraged potential parkers.

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