Thursday, June 8, 2023

Board Of Aldermen Not Ready To Vote On Downtown Parking Garage Design

Oxford Board of Aldermen

Tuesday evening, the Oxford Board of Aldermen (BOA) met for the first time since the Downtown Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC) decided on their recommendation for the design of the new parking garage on the Oxford Square. The committee recommended the $7.8 million “option B” over the $9 million “option A” to the BOA. 
While no official vote took place last night, chairman of the DPAC, Tom Sharpe knows that it’s all part of a longer process. With details continuing to be discussed, the committee wanted to ensure they are on the right track with the design. 
“This isn’t final design but it’s a good distance of the way there, and we wanted to approach the BOA to make sure we’re in agreement that we’re proceeding in the right direction,” Sharpe said. 
Option B is currently designed to have four floors, 410 spaces with three entry and exit points, a minimum of nine-foot ceilings and 9×18 parking spaces. Outside of the garage will be an additional 73 parking spots (approximately.) The number of spots outside may fluctuate due to the city’s tree ordinances. Renderings of the recommended parking structure can be seen below.

According to Sharpe, elements of the garage are still being amended to better reflect the architecture on the Square. During future meetings of the DPAC, the Historic Preservation Committee will also weigh in on the design. While addressing the BOA, Sharpe gave insight into some of the changes that may be made.
“This remains a work in progress,” Sharpe said. “We are working to enhance the north face of the building and the east side where the archways make the building look a bit boxier than it needs to. The architects are looking at introducing more vertical components on the sides and enhancing the front of the building to help soften the look of the building.”
Mayor Robyn Tannehill wasn’t expecting a vote to take place last night, and agrees that a more detailed design needs to be set before the BOA makes their decision.
“There are still too many questions about what that final design will be for there to have been a vote,” Tannehill said. “We’re not going to rush it; we want to make sure we get it right.”
“The Belk Lot” on the Oxford Square – Future site of the parking garage

Designed by Ely Guild Hardy Architects, the parking garage will be located in the “Belk Lot” on the Oxford Square behind the University Club. Construction is projected to begin in January 2018. 

Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of He can be reached at