Downtown business seeks to expand into the parking space in fron - Tucson News Now

Downtown business seeks to expand into the parking space in front of it

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Four months into its time on Congress downtown, Unplugged attracts those seeking to unwind.

"Maybe after your job you go and disconnect, you have a drink, so ‘Unplugged' actually fits it in many ways," said co-owner Frank Lietzau.  But he wants more people to know where he is, and he's willing to pay for the parking space in front of Unplugged to do it.

"We're going to put some umbrellas, some chairs, so it looks a little more inviting. Ultimately, we gain some seating but it's primarily for the visual impact," he said.

"I think we heard from the Gem Show operators who are coming here from around the country and around the world. They're looking for Tucson to be a more, to have more amenities, to have more happening," said ParkWise administrator Donovan Durband.

For six months, Unplugged will pay for the lost revenue on the meter, the cost of the material, and permitting on the space.  The pilot project could help ParkWise see how to make the most of the streetcar while also protecting parking and convenience.

"It's a balancing act between doing these types of facilities that add to the perception of the vitality that make the downtown area more interesting place from a pedestrian standpoint and so forth but balancing that with the need to maintain sufficient parking," Durband said.

"That's what the six months are for to just learn exactly that, those mechanisms and I think it will be very interesting and beneficial for everyone involved, for the city, for us, for businesses," Lietzau said.

The permitting could take another month or so.  The actual pilot would not start until the streetcar is functioning with passengers.  This could then factor into ParkWise's general parking plan for downtown.

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