Danville town officials and community members gathered outside of the Village Theatre and Art Gallery on Thursday to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of a parking lot expansion project downtown.
The $9.2 million project expands the Village Theatre's parking lot by an additional 131 parking spaces, creating a total of 200 spaces for people visiting downtown Danville.
“This is really a special day for all of us to be here. We have saved our money and we have built 200 parking spaces in downtown Danville. Absolutely incredible,” Danville Mayor Robert Storer said at the late-afternoon ceremony. “What makes this so special … is that we have been planning parking in Danville for a good number of years.”
Located amid the main downtown business district, work on the project began in the summer with the demolition of the vacant building next door to the Village Theatre. The town acquired the adjacent property, at 279 Front St., formerly the home of Gagen McCoy Law Offices, with the intent to expand the theater's public parking lot.
In addition to the 130 new spaces, the improvement project included landscaping, lighting, bio-retention facilities and the construction of a pedestrian bridge to the Eugene O’Neill Pocket Park
“What you may notice about these parking spots is we have no parking meters. Parking is free in Danville. Read my lips there will never be parking meters in downtown Danville,” Storer said to loud applause from the roughly 50 community members in attendance.
“This council will always be dedicated to keeping parking in Danville free, and we joke about it a lot but it really is a big deal. And I bet a lot of communities wish they had that luxury,” he added.
Paid for through the town’s capital improvement program general purpose revenue fund, the Village Theatre lot expansion project is one in a series of undertakings taken by the Town Council to improve residents and visitors accessibility to downtown Danville.
Upcoming parking expansion projects include improvements being made to the Park and Ride Lot at Sycamore Valley Road and Interstate 680. Construction is slated to begin in 2020, and will create an additional 115 spaces to the 240 space lot.
Later this year the town, in partnership with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, will begin construction on a 240-space expansion of the parking available at San Ramon Valley High School.