15 million dollar parking garage proposed for Naples

Posted at 10:25 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 22:32:53-04

City officials will vote next week on a new parking garage for downtown Naples.

If approved it would be the 3rd garage in and around 5th Avenue.  This one would be located at the corner of 4th Street and 4th Avenue South.

Cafe Milano owner Luca Di Falco says his business welcomes the extra parking.

"We wait for the people to show up, sometimes they say I couldn't find parking."

But not everyone is welcoming the extra spaces, especially residents living near the proposed garage.

"The immediate neighbors will face a great deal of increased traffic because 350 spaces will turn over a couple times an evening," said John Lehmann.

Lehmann is among several community leaders opposed to the project.  The group launched an online petition trying to stop the garage.

He says the 15 million dollars earmarked for the garage should go to priorities such as the Baker Park project.

"We feel that 5th Avenue  has received plenty of government subsides."

But Difalco says 5th Avenue is booming in part due to all the tourists who flock here, and for the locals, that means having to adjust.

"We should be more open minded, it's a time to step up and understand downtown is no longer a hidden destination anymore."

The Community Redevelopment Agency will meet at 8:30 Tuesday morning to vote on the project.