International Parking & Mobility Institute

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Parking Spotlight

DESMAN

Springfield, OH’s Downtown Parking Garage

worthington images 2023

Catalyst For Revitalization and Sustainability

  • FIRM: DESMAN
  • LOCATION: Springfield, OH
  • OWNER: Springfield, OH
  • KEYSTAFF: 
    • Steve Rebora, Principal-In-Charge/Parking Design Specialist

    • Bob Lutz, Project Manager

  • PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: 
    • Dugan & Meyers, General Contractor

Stephen Rebora headshot
Rebora
Bob Lutz
Lutz

In recent years, Springfield, Ohio, has emerged as a prime choice for young professionals seeking a place to live, work, and raise families. The Downtown Parking Garage stands as a symbol of this transformation, playing a pivotal role in the city’s revival. Under the banner of “Forward Together,” Springfield has seen a surge in population, bringing fresh energy to its downtown area and igniting demand for innovative sustainable urban planning solutions and mobility alternatives.

Vibrant mural of Springfield, Ohio, displaying its landmarks and culture.

The Downtown Parking Garage is not just your ordinary parking structure—it’s a 305-spot “Automated Parking Facility” that embraces simplicity and intuitive wayfinding to guide both pedestrians and vehicles seamlessly to their destinations.

This 100,000 SF, three-level multi-purpose facility serves as a cornerstone for parking not only for automobiles but also for bicycles and scooters, addressing the diverse mobility needs of the community. Beyond its parking functions, it offers 3,000 square feet of valuable retail and restaurant space, along with two unisex public washrooms, enhancing the overall experience for visitors and event-goers.

What truly sets this garage apart is its commitment to community engagement and art. Springfield commissioned a local art group to adorn the entire west side of the building, turning it into a canvas for community artwork. Along the southern face of the structure, trellises have been installed, creating a space for community planning—a nod to Springfield’s nickname, the “City of Roses,” once known for producing more roses than any other city worldwide.

The design of the retail and garage spaces includes outdoor seating nooks and gathering areas, intended to activate the site. These spaces come alive during art fairs, music events, and with various vendors on evenings and weekends, infusing the area with energy and culture.

Recognizing the importance of sustainable transportation, the facility accommodates indoor bicycle parking and supports micro-mobility through staging for the City’s Bird scooter program. Springfield City Area Transit (SCAT) also has a stop at this location, ensuring safe and convenient transportation to and from this popular destination. Accessibility is a priority, with carefully designed pedestrian circulation paths and ADA compliance.

Sustainability is at the heart of this project. The garage utilizes natural light, supplemented by dimmable LED lighting, and incorporates recycled and locally sourced materials. Future plans include photovoltaic roof panels and charging stations for electric vehicles and alternative-fueled vehicles.

“First, It’s gorgeous; what an addition to the looks of downtown. Second, it’s about keeping jobs in downtown Springfield and adding more jobs. In order for that to happen, we needed more parking space. Third, this is a sign, a symbol of the optimism of the people of Springfield and Clark County about how we will rise and how we will make a better tomorrow. And this is part of that effort. And last but not least, this is a symbol of what we can accomplish when we work together.”

Perhaps one of the most impressive achievements of this project was the ability to bring a comprehensive program to fruition despite a significant budget reduction of nearly $3 million just before the project commenced. The design team and builder exhibited were dedicated to creativity, efficiency, and innovation through value engineering efforts.

Utilizing the sloping site effectively offset the need for ramps and minimized excavation costs. The third level of the garage doubles as the roof of the retail space, eliminating the necessity for a traditional built-up roof as originally envisioned.

The Downtown Parking Garage has not only met but exceeded the goals set by the community. It stands as a symbol of Springfield’s revitalization, sustainability, and commitment to the future—a testament to what can be achieved when a city unites “Forward Together.” Praised by the press and local residents alike, this facility is a model for how innovation and community spirit can transform urban spaces. ◆