Two plans discussed for Seven Corners parking

Tatum Fjerstad

Members of the Cedar-Riverside Business Association discussed options Friday that would make parking at Seven Corners more plentiful and less confusing.

Business owners, land owners and city officials came up with two plans that might help keep traffic moving around the area.

The first and most ideal plan consists of getting rid of six parking spots between Noodles & Company and Theatre in the Round, said Minneapolis City Council member Paul Zerby, Ward 2, who represents the Minneapolis campus and surrounding areas.

The six parking spots are used and owned by GrandMarc housing complex, said Nathan Wilkens, GrandMarc manager.

However, Theatre in the Round experiences problems when the six spots are full – people park illegally alongside the theater building, blocking in those parking legally, said Steve Antenucci, its executive director.

Steve Malarkey, owner of Sgt. Preston’s Saloon & Eatery, suggested turning the area into a patio for Noodles & Company.

Wilkens first needs approval from Phoenix Property Co., Noodles & Company and Chipotle.

“The best thing is to kill the parking. I will look at the lease and see where we stand,” Wilkens said.

The business association also came up with a second plan.

Antenucci suggested changing the six spots to staff parking.

Mike Sachi, Minneapolis parking facilities project engineer, suggested installing meters that businesses would enforce. The spots are on private property, so the city can’t enforce the meters.

Wilkens said GrandMarc will pick up the costs for these parking changes and advancements.

Sachi outlined adjustments and improvements that could be made in the area to increase the parking turnover.

He suggested adjusting the meter rates in the Cedar-Riverside area from $1 per hour to $1.25 and lengthening the hours of enforcement.

The business association will meet again in two weeks, after Wilkens gets decisions from Phoenix Property Co., Noodles & Company and Chipotle on the first plan.