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6/21/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Council reluctant to sell parking lot

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

A city parking lot on the corner of Andy Devine Avenue and Third Street will remain in city hands for the time being. City Council members were reluctant to sell the lot Tuesday evening, but were willing to consider leasing it to the new owner of the Hotel Brunswick.

Warner Fleischmann, who bought Hotel Brunswick in May, asked the city to consider selling him the lot so he could have a parking area for his customers. He has asked the community for help in determining what to do with the hotel. Some possible ideas include turning it into an office building or apartments, or leaving it as a hotel.

In order to sell the lot, the city would have to get it appraised, said City Development Services Director Gary Jeppson. He also pointed out that parking is always at a premium downtown, especially during special events.

Mayor John Salem asked if there were options other than selling the lot, such as leasing it to Fleischmann.

Jeppson said the city could consider doing that.

Isn't it already available to hotel customers, Councilwoman Janet Watson asked.

It is, but on a first-come, first-serve basis, Jeppson said. Fleischmann was asking for exclusive use of the parking lot for his customers.

"Not to discourage anyone, and I'm not saying this will, but I've seen a lot of people with really good ideas start something and not succeed downtown," Watson said. "What happens to the lot if we sell it and Mr. Fleischmann's plans don't succeed? I'd like to wait until he gets closer to a plan for the building."

"There's not a lot of open parking downtown. This is a huge asset to the community. I'd hate to see it not available for the public," said Councilwoman Erin Cochran.

Councilwoman Carole Young pointed out that according to Arizona Revised Statues, the city would have to accept bids and sell it to the highest and best bidder.

There was no guarantee that Fleischmann would get the lot, she said. She preferred to lease it.

Salem said he, too, would prefer to lease it. Even when the Brunswick was in full swing as a restaurant, bar and hotel, parking didn't seem to be a problem for it.

A least one downtown business owner Zell Henderson agreed with Council. He asked Council not to sell the property or at least wait until they found out what Fleischmann's plans for the hotel were.

There is too little public parking downtown, he said.

Councilman Richard Anderson asked if city staff had a master plan of the available parking for the downtown area. It might be easier to make a decision if Council knew exactly what parking was available.

Salem suggested Council take no action on the item until it hears from Fleischmann. The other members of Council agreed and they moved on to the next agenda item.

Council also approved a new ordinance to bring the city's building permit fees for solar projects into line with Arizona Revised Statutes. The statutes mandate that the city is not allowed to charge a person installing a solar device more than what it costs the city to inspect the device and issue a permit.

Council also adopted a fee schedule for permits to place manufacture housing within the city limits.

The council members and the mayor also signed a City Council Code of Ethics and Core Values.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Article comment by: John Schneider

This is one of the reasons we see businesses come and go in downtown Kingman. Lack of parking, the hours and adverising of the businesses downtown. When you open a small business, the hours should be long, Maybe 9 AM tp 9 PM. 7 days a week.The City Council tells us to shop this not local? The business ethics in this town is not there.

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012
Article comment by: frank lee

Nice to be optimistic.

"Not to discourage anyone, and I'm not saying this will, but I've seen a lot of people with really good ideas start something and not succeed downtown," Watson said. "What happens to the lot if we sell it and Mr. Fleischmann's plans don't succeed? I'd like to wait until he gets closer to a plan for the building."

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012
Article comment by: Start condeming unsafe buildings

Ms Cochran It is not the City's reponsibility to provide parking for businesses or events downtown. The city has street parking. THis lot is only used as backfill for the bar that should be torn town. Erin, before you start ranting about leaving it for event parking, go look, it is only 12 spaces and if Mr fleshman rents rooms, guess who will be parking there before the event starts? Lame!!!!! If you want more parking, have the City condem the Beale Hotel and adjacent buildings and make a parking lot, would be more beneficial and smarter.

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Article comment by: Arizona Moderate

Do you ever wonder why businesses routinely bypass Kingman and opt for Lake Havasu or Bullhead? This is a prime example. Here's a man willing to save a portion (the anchor) of a decaying downtown from looking like Detroit, which will increase our tax base and create a few jobs as well. Naturally, we treat him with suspicion and stonewalling.

Why wouldn't he want to have exclusive rights? Guaranteed parking is essential to a business like the Brunswick. Hey, maybe that's one of the reasons it has gone belly up multiple times. This guy has the smarts to not repeat someone else's failed business plan.

Expedite Mr. Fleischmann's request. Get an appraisal. Please forgo the usual political back scratching and public service indecision. Be pro business.

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Article comment by: J L

I don't think using it for apartments is a good idea. There's too much traffic on that part of Andy Devine and there's a bar next door.

An old fashioned ice parlor would be nice with renting the rooms as offices.

Just my opinion.

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Article comment by: Kingman Citizen

The lack of parking Downtown has always been an issue. Especially when special events are held downtown-like First Friday, Downtown Merchants Street Fairs & the Andy Devine Parade. This parking lot gives customers a place to park for the merchants on Beale and Andy Devine. The City Council needs to look for ways to increase the parking for downtown not restrict the only public parking lot to be used for only one business.

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Article comment by: Same Old Thing

What are these people talking about?

I have never had a problem finding parking in downtown Kingman.

How much does it cost to visit their reality?

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Article comment by: I am Curious

What are the legal boundries of leasing a city owned property as opposed to selling a city owned property?

Can any individual just come to the city and say they wanted exclusive rights to lease a property a city has ownership of to the exclusion of everyone else?

I find that to be a back door to the sales process.

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