Santa Rosa has agreed to lease up to 50 parking spaces to the Hugh Futrell Corp. to allow the developer to offer valet parking at its boutique hotel project downtown.

The spaces will be in the parking garage on First Street behind the Roxy Stadium 14 movie theater, and would serve future guests of Old Courthouse Square Hotel, the 62-room hotel Futrell and partners are developing in the historic Empire Building.

The iconic 1908 clock tower-topped structure and adjacent commercial building on the west side of the square have no on-site parking, just metered spaces on public streets, including 45 additional spaces recently installed as part of the Old Courthouse Square reunification project.

So Futrell, like he did with his renovation of the Museum on the Square building to the south, turned to the city to help solve his parking needs.

The seven-story Garage 12 has 727 spaces but is underutilized, with an average peak usage of just 33 percent, according to the city. Futrell has agreed to pay the same rate as other reserved parking permit holders, $140 per space per month.

That would generate $7,000 a month or $84,000 per year to the city’s parking district.

After guests’ bags are unloaded at the front of the future hotel, valet staff would drive guests’ vehicles to the garage, and park them using a “stacked” parking system that could squeeze up to 65 vehicles in the 50 roof-top spaces. The area will be managed by an automatic gate system, the installation and operation cost of which Futrell’s firm will bear.

The initial term of the parking agreement is nine years, with up to four additional five-year extensions possible.

The fees will be reviewed after five years.

City parking manager Kim Nadeau told the council Tuesday the agreement will not interfere with any other parking programs downtown.

She also said the deal was in no way exclusive to Futrell, and other downtown businesses that want to purchase the same permits can do so.

In fact, the developers of the Roxy theater struck a deal in 1999 to limit the city to selling no more than 474 monthly permits for the garage to ensure sufficient parking spaces for its patrons. That agreement expires in 2020.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 707-521-5207.

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