INDIANAPOLIS - The owners of the Broad Ripple parking garage have lowered the rates from $2 for the first hour to $1 for the first hour.
"We changed the rate to simply match the parking meter rate," Mike Patarino, vice president of real estate for Keystone Realty, wrote in an email to Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney. "Note the parking equipment we installed can only be set for $1/hour increments so we could never match the $1.50/hour at the meters. So now we are at $1/hour for the first hour and so on."
New signs posted at the entrance show $1 for the first hour and a $15 daily maximum.
Since the garage opened to drivers in April 2013, some drivers have been critical of the cost to park in the garage, compared to parking at meters and in free spots on the street.
The Broad Ripple parking garage was built with $6.35 million of the public's money, but the city gets none of the parking revenue.
Keystone Realty is the developer of the garage, Keystone Construction built the garage and Keystone also owns the garage through a holding company called 6280 LLC.
Last year, the City of Indianapolis and garage owners and management, Keystone and Newpoint Parking respectively, would not release data showing how many cars have parked there.
So, the Call 6 Investigators counted cars day and night and found the garage was 5.5 percent full, on average.
Just counting the peak times, around 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the garage was 19.8 percent full, on average.
In an email to Kenney this week, Patarino did not reveal parking figures but said the numbers are improving.
"Our parking revenues at the garage have been increasing every quarter since we opened," Patarino wrote in an email to RTV6.
Five months after the April 2013 opening, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney found the elevator not working on several occasions, water pooling in some areas days after rain passed and signs not up to city code.
Keystone fixed all of the issues.
In 2011, Mayor Greg Ballard announced the garage would be built to address parking problems for residents and visitors.
"One of the great things about the garage is it will allow for a residential parking permit program for the neighborhood," said Ballard in 2011. "Broad Ripple Village has long needed a garage of this magnitude to alleviate the parking issues. Residents and their guests who have been asking for this for a long, long time will easily be able to find on-street parking near their homes."
Getting cars off neighborhood streets and into the garage was also a big selling point mentioned at the May 2, 2013, ribbon-cutting.
"When they're going down the street to a restaurant, they're not parking three blocks deep into the neighborhood," Ballard said on May 2, 2013.
As of June 2014, the Broad Ripple Village Association has yet to unveil a residential parking permit program for streets near the garage.
Firehouse Subs, one of the parking garage's first tenants, has already closed its doors.
Mayor Greg Ballard joked about filling the space with Keystone's CEO, Ersal Ozdemir, at the May 2, 2013 ribbon-cutting and news conference.
"I know something will be in here, Ersal, eventually right?" Ballard said at the podium.
The space where the ribbon-cutting was held, the north corner at College and Westfield Boulevard, will soon be occupied by beer bar Hop Cat .
Current tenants of the Broad Ripple parking garage include an IMPD substation, Orange Leaf, Marco's Pizza and Massage Envy.
"It will be more profitable as we have more parkers in there and as our retail spaces get filled out," said Patarino in 2013.
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