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Saratoga: Public to hear plan for city lot development

Sonny Bonacio of Bonacio Construction will present to the public his plan to build a $12 million mixed-use building on the city-owned parking lot near Lillian's Restaurant April 2.

The public meeting to discuss the sale of the lot to Bonacio came at the behest of Public Works Commissioner Thomas McTygue, who said he favors the project as the $750,000 sale would roll into funding for a larger Woodlawn Avenue parking area.

Bonacio plans to construct a $12 million mixed-use building on the .38-acre site.

It would be a serious benefit for downtown if we could combine this with the Woodlawn Avenue lot and get another 400-450 parking spaces, said McTygue. He noted that the addition of those parking spaces to the existing Woodlawn facility would bring the total number of available spaces at that location to over 500. It's possible that the expansion could be completed as early as next year, he said.

"This would solve a parking problem that we've been talking about for 20 years," McTygue said.

Bonacio has offered the city $750,000 for the lot and has plans to build a four-story building with retail space on the first floor, offices on the second floor and residential units on the third and fourth floors. Bonacio Construction was the only business to submit a plan to develop the parking lot between Lillian's and Professor Moriarty's.

The loss of parking at the city lot has some Broadway business owners concerned. Dawn Oesch, president of the Downtown Business Association, said many city business owners are eyeing the sale carefully because the lot's 40 parking spaces would be lost.

The 62,000-square-foot building would return 31 of the 40 parking spaces by way of a basement garage, according to Bonacio's proposal.

McTygue said he has scheduled to meet with members of the association on March 21 to discuss the proposal. While he understands parking is a big issue with the Downtown Business Association, he said he has not yet heard any specific complaints about the proposal from any of its members.

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