Heavy cranes signal the $13.8 million parking garage will rise soon

What’s happening with the new City Centre parking garage?

The construction of a new City Centre parking garage is making slow progress.
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The construction of a new City Centre parking garage is making slow progress.

It was called a game changer and “iconic” in its design well before final designs and costs were released to the public, and it won’t be long now before residents get to see their $13.8 million City Centre parking garage change the skyline of downtown Bradenton.

The former city hall parking lot was closed in April in preparation for foundation work, which has wrapped up and a massive crane — that took smaller cranes to put together — is almost ready to begin receiving the prefabricated walls that will go up quickly like an “erector set,” said Carl Callahan, economic development director.

Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston discusses the unique design elements in the new City Centre parking garage that looks nothing like a parking garage.

The work to assemble the garage to the point where it looks like a building will only take about two months, but the finish work inside and out to bring the building to life will take longer, with a scheduled completion date being pushed back to about the end of February.

Callahan said installing the foundation took a little longer than expected, but he is comfortable with the progress of construction.

City centre design.JPG
Bradenton’s “iconic” new parking garage is scheduled to be completed by the end of February and its walls will be going up soon with heavy cranes now on site in downtown Bradenton. Provided

The walls are currently awaiting pick up from Port Manatee. They will be stored on a vacant area near the Riversong Apartments and trucked to construction site as needed.

Wednesday morning, crews began tearing down the building that was home to the Manatee Chamber of Commerce since the 1960s.

The building will be four stories with parking on top, allowing for about 500 spaces. The ground floor spaces will be reserved for the new Spring Hill Suites hotel under construction in the 100 block of Old Main Street. Retail spaces will be added along Old Main Street and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce will occupy new offices along 10th Street West.

Upon completion of the garage, the city intends to construct an open green space between the garage and city hall where some events could take place and as an extension of Riverwalk into downtown.