New apartments in downtown Washington have mixed reviews

WASHINGTON, NC (WNCT)- The city of Washington is expanding its downtown area. A developer is in the process of constructing an apartment building right in the heart of the historic district.Right now the house doesn’t look like much. It’s completely empty and needs a lot of repairs, but soon it’ll be home to more than ten apartment units. The question everyone has is where are people going to park?

Right now the house doesn’t look like much. It’s completely empty and needs a lot of repairs, but soon it’ll be home to more than ten apartment units. The question everyone has is where are people going to park?

It’s no secret, finding a parking spot in downtown Washington isn’t easy. On Friday, Ed Brown found a place to park, but he considers himself lucky.

“Most of the time you come down very rarely can you find a spot close to where you’re going to,” Brown said.

Some say the problem could get worse. A single family home in Washington’s downtown area is being transitioned into an apartment building. An ordinance allows it to happen, but one local store employee says the change could affect business.

Aaron Adams is the general manager at Stewart’s Jewelry Store and is worried sharing an already packed parking lot combined with the buildings new residents could deter people from coming downtown.

Aaron Adams said, “Are they going to come down here to shop or are they going to have to park and walk a long ways and get frustrated and go somewhere else.”

Some say the change could be positive for the community and for businesses.

“I think the stores downtown will benefit from that, the restaurants downtown will certainly benefit, and we want to do all we can to encourage people to visit our town and find out why we love it so much here,” shopper Jane McCotter said.

As for Brown, he wants to support the businesses downtown, but he also needs a place to park his car.

“I would come downtown but if I couldn’t find a parking place id obviously go shopping somewhere else,” Brown said.

The city council is waiting for a recommendation from the planning and once that’s received they’ll start a conversation about amending the ordinance.

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