The City of Annapolis will hold a Grand (re)Opening for the downtown Noah Hillman Garage from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, with live music, giveaways, and free parking. The garage closed in April of 2022 for the rebuild.
“Last year, we told people we’d get this across the line in 14 to 16 months, and we are delivering to our residents and businesses in little more than 13 months,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “This is a huge accomplishment, and I thank our City team and our partners at AMRP for their dedication.”
In 2017, when the garage was 45 years old, engineers determined it to be at the end of its service life, and a complete replacement was recommended. In March 2019, a group of 100 stakeholders, known as the City Dock Action Committee (CDAC) was appointed by Mayor Gavin Buckley with the Annapolis City Council to focus on a resilience strategy for Annapolis’ downtown and City Dock.
City Dock faced over 50 days of “sunny day” or “nuisance” flooding yearly. CDAC’s task was to develop a resilience strategy to replace the blacktop and parking at City Dock with a world-class park, and relocate the parking into a new parking facility while providing a mechanism to fund the new garage and elements of the City Dock resiliency project. Since resilience projects can cost tens of millions of dollars, the City chose to redevelop Hillman Garage through a Public Private Partnership (P3), resulting in a significant ‘concession payment’ to provide up-front funding for the City Dock work.
A consortium of design, construction, and mobility companies came together to submit a proposal for the project. The successful team, Annapolis Resiliency and Mobility Partnership (AMRP), rebuilt and will operate the garage for 30 years. In exchange, AMRP paid the City a concession payment of $24.5 million to fund the resiliency work at City Dock. In addition to state and federal grants, the work at City Dock is funded mainly without the need to tap Annapolis taxpayers directly.
AMRP individual businesses include Amber Infrastructure (Developer), Whiting-Turner (Design-Builder), BCT Design Group (Architect)); WSP (Lead Design/Engineer); Walker Consultants (Garage Design/Consulting); Mahan Rykiel (Landscape Architect); Premium Parking (Garage Operator) and Via Mobility (Mobility Provider).
The years-long Hillman process included a pre-development phase that included garage design and permitting (2021 – April 2022) and the construction phase between April 2022 and May 2023.
FEATURES OF THE NEW GARAGE: The new garage will include: more parking spaces (165 more than the old garage); gateless entry and exit; easier payments through the app, text-to-pay, or at payment kiosks; two elevators; two public restrooms; stormwater controls; EV charging stations (nine in total, including six Level III “fast” chargers and three Level II’s); 594 solar panels on the roof that will generate 281 kWh (enough for all connected loads for the garage itself); bicycle racks; greater ADA accessibility; increased lighting for public safety; space counter indicators at the entrances on Gorman Street and Duke of Gloucester; and more.
Premium Parking is the parking vendor for AMRP and will operate the garage as part of the concession agreement. Premium has been working in the City since mid-2022, when they were brought in to handle on-street parking enforcement in Districts 1 and 2 (downtown). Monthly parkers who were moved to other garages in the City are now eligible for monthly parking at the new Hillman. All other monthly applicants will be served in order of receipt of an application by visiting www.premiumparking.com/P4902.
ABOUT GATELESS ENTRY: Operationally, the new Hillman Garage will function without entry and exit gates, allowing faster ingress and egress (no queuing of vehicles that cause back-ups). Upon entering the garage, don’t wait for the gate to go up or struggle to pull a ticket. Just drive right in and find a space. Cameras at the entrance are outfitted with license plate readers (LPRs) that take a picture of every vehicle’s license plate.
Once inside, patrons must pay for parking in one of three ways: app, text-to-pay, or at the pay kiosk. You’ll estimate the time you want to use (don’t worry, you can add time on the app if you decide to stay longer). When ready to leave, visitors exit the garage. There’s no time spent feeding a ticket or figuring out which way the credit card goes into the slot. Just drive away. The LPR on exit will calculate and sign off that you paid for the amount of parking you used.
The new garage will offer free parking between the Grand Opening on June 14 and Monday, June 19 to encourage residents and visitors to check out the new garage and celebrate by shopping and dining downtown. Parking enforcement will begin on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.