Mooresville to explore parking quandary

Town leaders are considering how to provide more parking for patrons of downtown businesses.
Although downtown has at least 600 parking spaces, comparatively few are right in front of Main Street stores.

The lack of convenient parking grew more apparent with the recent opening of J.J. Wasabi's Grill and Bar.

The Mooresville commissioners discussed the issue at a June 4 meeting at Town Hall.

One option they suggested: Level a vacant house on town-owned downtown property and replace it with a parking lot. The house is at Church Street and Moore Avenue.

"What we need to do is tear down that house," commissioner Mac Herring said.

"The time is now," commissioner Mitch Abraham said. "Not because (J.J. Wasabi's) is here, but because downtown is full."

Planning Director Tim Brown said there's plenty of parking downtown, including a lot at Church Street and Iredell Avenue. But many of the spaces aren't directly in front of stores, so shoppers tend not to use them, he said.

Another problem is that many people attending events at the Charles Mack Citizen Center at 215 N. Main St. each day are parking in Main Street spaces instead of the center's parking lot, town officials said.

Commissioners urged the town staff to review past studies of downtown parking to develop recommendations that would ease the crunch. The most recent study was in the early 2000s, Brown said.

Town Manager Steve Husemann said the staff will review the studies and issue a new report.
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