If we all pitch in, we can cover that $500 loss.
Since the word "Million" isn't in the headline, I was confused.

"That's not too bad!"
The Stranger's news team is the best news aggregator in town.

Keep up the good work!
Slog finally comes out against socialism. Allow early bird parking and problem solved. Probably best if the private sector take over.
@2, the missing word is "thousand", not "million".

What in the hell does "not authorized to do that" mean? If the city owns it, why can't they manage it the way they god damn want to? Oh, wait, this is the city of Seattle we're talking about. Rates are too high, AND it's losing money? That's a very Seattle way to go about it, isn't it?

Sell the damn thing. Sell it for $100 if you have to. The city shouldn't be running, and obviously lacks the mental capacity to run, a parking garage anyways. A private owner would figure out a way to fill the thing in about an hour.
Lower the rates. This garage was never intended to make money - it was designed to bring people downtown. It works, but high parking fees discourage people from using it. Remember, mall parking is free. Let the city subsidize the debt and keep the rates low.
Yes, sorry, a few zeros missing. All fixed, gang.
Although 80% of its employees use transit, 85% of its shoppers drive in per Nordstrom. So, no parking = lost retail sales = lost tax revenues for City = Cuts to social programs.
Maintain parking, so we can maintain the city's social programs.
Why not just charge a Non-Citizen parking rate of $10,000 an hour?

I'm sure Tim Eyman parking could fix that problem in just a week, the skinflint.
@8, if you would read the article, you would see that the reason the garage is losing money is because it is half empty. Which kind of blows up your theory that there's no parking.
Why not just sell it, debt included? It's prime downtown property and I'm sure someone would leap on a deal that would get us free and clear, even if it's at no net profit.

What benefit does the city draw from owning it?
The ultimatum at the time was "pay for our parking lot or we won't build this high-end mall." That deal tied us tighter into the fortunes of high-end retail, so as the shops' sales have plummeted, just look. I wonder what the overall books would look like, balancing the mall's economic output over the years against the city's "investment".

In any case, dealmaker Matt Griffin must be chuckling this morning as he lights his Macanudo with a Benjamin, or how you say.

City doesnt have a problem running a number of other parking lots, like the ones at the stadiums. I dont own a car, but my sister does and she prefers to park on First Hill and walk 20 min to that mall for the occasional movie. She refuses to drive in gridlock traffic downtown.

Private owners wont help. Across the street from where my wife works, was an 1/2 block 80 foot hole in the ground where a high rise was supposed to be errected. Instead, they filled it up, paved it and made it a parking lot. To cover the cost of not turning into a 50 story skyrise, they jacked up the cost of the parking, so much that nobody uses it. So private ownership wont always be a solution to the parking problem. So the city can sell its investment of the parking lot to a private company and to cover the costs of buying, may just raise the parking rates even further.
@10 - Not really. The parking would be more full if the city dropped rates, or adopted a variable pricing scheme based on demand, to fill up spots. I meant to stress the importance of the city's affordable parking service for the health of downtown retail and social program funding. Ask Norm Rice, former mayor and now member of an Obama administration economic development committee. That's why he approved the current format of the Pacific Place garage when he was mayor. He understood well that retail tax revenue is a large source of income for the city.
@13, the city's goal is not "cheap parking". The city's goal is "not losing money on pointless crap that has nothing to do with city government".

And hey, no offense, but your sister is crazy.
It costs $5 to park at Pacific Place for an hour, up from $2 an hour in 2003. City officials most recently increased hourly rates at the garage in July 2009.

In the three or four blocks around the garage, the average off-street parking rate is $10 to $12 for two hours,

What the fuck is wrong with you, Dominic? According to the quotation YOU chose, Pacific Place charges exactly the same rates as other lots.
And does Pacific Place even offer low night-time rates? You can park for as little as $6 from 5-11 on weekdays downtown. If Pacific Place doesn't offer deals like that, including early bird, it's no wonder that it's bleeding money.
@16, 17: Gee, if only there were a search machine where you could get the facts before you went off making stupid comments:

* Affordable rates, including a special four-hour evening rate of $6
Weekdays, Weekends and Holidays Before 5:00 p.m.
0 to 1 hour $5
1 to 2 hours $7
2 to 3 hours $9
3 to 4 hours $11

Ok, so it's losing $500,000 annually... for two years, during a recession. But it was a net gain for a decade before that, and Seattle still owes $63M in bonds which are supposed to come from the parking revenue--even if we could sell the garage for $100, it seems like it's a heck of a lot cheaper to loan the garage the $1.5M. Or, you know, raise the street parking rates high enough to make it seem a lot cheaper to park in the damn garage, while the city gets increased revenue from BOTH sources. Yay.
Is this the same garage Norm Rice overpaid $20M for? It really is and endless pot of joy.
Early bird rates defeat the purpose of this garage, which is to encourage retail activity, not move commuters from buses to cars. Also, the developer has a first right of refusal to acquire the garage at some point, so it really can't be sold. Like most government entities, the City can't run a surplus and pay down debt in the good years, because then people scream that the money should go for other stuff or rates or taxes should be lowered, so when the bad years come, they're really, really bad.

The City probably has no business owning this garage, but it did spark a huge amount of development downtown that has probably already resulted in sales tax and property tax revenues far in excess of what it cost to acquire the garage.
For me the ever increasing parking rates made be stop driving downtown... and mostly stop shopping there (it's free to park at Northgate and is a 15 minute drive). I go downtown, I take a bus. Great for moving people to mass transit, but it seems to increase the cities' revenue loss. The city needs to rethink the whole parking thing anyway, I bet they'd make more money making street parking free and firing all the metermaids and selling off their vehicles than charging and having to have all the staff, vehicles, and machines. Plus, free downtown parking would be the best way to encourage shoppers to come back to downtown.
@22 As long as you don't drive to Southcenter! The city still gets some tax on your purchase at Northgate, so glass half full, even if you're not helping service the debt on the corporate welfare garage.
@16 Between this and the headline, I'm tempted to go to Math and Stuff for a Singapore Math level 1 book, to send to Dan with the suggestion that Dan tell Dom he gets his bong back after he turns in the completed exercises.
@22, you are high. Free street parking would immediately fill up with people who would never ever leave. What attracts shoppers to a place isn't free parking, it's AVAILABLE parking. You wouldn't go to Northgate if every space was full. The only way to open up downtown street parking, where every space is full, is to charge more.
Meanwhile, crossing the 520 bridge is going to run $8 round trip, so it's not like Seattleites will flee to the Bravern.
I always park at Pacific Place when I drive downtown (at least once every time I visit home and stay with my folks in the burbs). It's a nicer garage than some, it's easy to get in and out on 6th and 7th, and I don't find it prohibitively expensive. It's really cheap at night, too. It surprises me that people choose other nearby garages over PP, but I also prefer shopping downtown than at malls like Northgate, so I'm not typical, I guess.
@ If only there was some sort of reliable "light rail" that would take people from the north end to downtown! Someday...

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