The City of Ocala is seeking approval of a $1.7 million contract for the purchase of land which would become the site of a second parking garage in downtown Ocala.
The city analyzed seven downtown sites for a new parking garage, and staff has selected six parcels totaling 1.62 acres as the proposed site.
These parcels are currently owned by Mt. Moriah Church and they front on SW Broadway, SW 2nd Avenue, SW 3rd Avenue, and SW Fort King Street.
The total cost for the land, along with all the buildings that are owned by the church, is $1,765,000. The city intends to use the General Fund Reserve for Projects, which has a balance of $5 million, to fund this purchase.
During the upcoming Ocala City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 1, council members will vote on whether or not to approve the contract for the purchase of the parcels.
As part of the consent agenda, the adoption of a budget resolution will also be presented to the council members to appropriate funds from the General Fund Reserve for the purchase of the land.
City staff is recommending approval, and if council members agree with that recommendation, the church would relocate to a larger parcel located on SW 5th Street, east of SW 27th Avenue.
The proposed contract would allow for the church to occupy the property for one year after the closing which will take place on or before Thursday, March 31.
City staff is also working with another owner concerning a .28-acre property located at 222 SW Broadway Street. This property is currently being used as a parking lot and is located at the northwest corner of SW 3rd Avenue and SW Broadway Street.
If the city purchases this .28-acre property, then the proposed parking garage would occupy the entire block.
City staff will begin working on a solicitation for constructing a precast parking garage once all the parcels have been purchased, and funding for the construction of the garage will be addressed in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget.