Millbrae garage set for next year 

A new parking structure in downtown Millbrae that would greatly increase the number of spaces will be built in the area next year, seven years earlier than originally thought.

Extra development money became available last week when developerstold city staff they would not require upfront money for the $250 million BART/Caltrain expansion project expected to get under way next year, City Manager Ralph Jaeck said. Before then, city officials figured they’d have to wait until about 2015 to afford the parking project through tax increments. The construction costs for the structure will be between $4 million and $9 million, depending on how big the city wants the structure to be.

The garage will add at least 69 new spaces downtown on the existing parking lot on Magnolia Avenue between Hillcrest Boulevard and La Cruz Avenue, but could eventually nearly triple in size.

The construction should start in one year and take about 18 months, Jaeck said. Alternative parking and shuttles will be provided during construction.

A 2002 study showed public parking downtown approached 100 percent occupancy during peak lunch and dinner hours.

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