Frustrated with a drop in traffic and sales, some Ninth Street business owners are working to sublease a city parking lot and return it to free two-hour parking.
About a year ago, the city started charging $1 per hour to park in the 45-space lot that for years offered free parking. Fees now apply 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Ever since they installed that parking meter, all of us have noticed a decline in sales,” said Michael Bell, owner of Hunky Dory, a record and smoke shop which is down $39,000 in revenue compared to the same time last year.
Bell’s store is on the east side of the street, which still is primarily quirky small businesses in buildings owned by individuals and families – an atmosphere has characterized the Ninth Street shopping district.
The dynamics of the street shifted, however, after the redevelopment of the Shops at Erwin Mill on the west side of the street was completed. The shopping center has a 24-hour Harris Teeter that opened in November and 13 retail spaces with new and existing shops and restaurants.
The development, includes a privately owned 348-space parking lot near the Harris Teeter ...