The City of Tyler, Texas has an ongoing revitalization effort of the Historic Downtown Main Street in place called Tyler 21. The purpose of the plan is to use monies to promote growth within the downtown core. The parking garage, the City’s first ever, does just that.
Walker was hired to provide insight into the current and future parking demands in Tyler, Texas. We performed a preliminary financial feasibility study; the approach included meetings with stakeholders as well as collecting data from 10 city blocks downtown. Some of the conclusions were comprised of projected revenues, operating expenses and construction costs for a parking structure. Furthermore, we provided a conceptual design analysis, producing several identified sites for the parking garage that the City had decided to pursue.
Walker went on to be the prime designer of the durable, cast-in-place superstructure, that contains 384 parking spaces on 4 levels, a new 5′ x 12′ precast storm culvert running under it, a new sanitary line and a generator for emergency power. The appearance of this parking garage is quite unique; it was important to the City that the design was based upon historical buildings demolished in the past, within the downtown core. So Walker did just that. Pieces from the Tyler Commercial College, Blackstone Hotel and the Smith County Courthouse clock tower element (original clock faces, with new digital mechanics) were incorporated into the construction. There is also a bronze statue under the clock tower commemorating R.W. Fair (historical family in Tyler, the R.W. Fair Foundation donated land to the City for the parking structure) and the window frames emulate the surrounding historical architecture of downtown. Parking equipment was installed and the goal of the very low parking fees is to cover the operation and maintenance costs only.