Parking Lot Necessary Near Magpie Space

Tony Mealy, Oberlin resident

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To the Editors:

The Review’s Nov. 13 article “Concerns over Parking Grow as Magpie Closes” fails to mention that the former RAX Restaurant had seating for 60 customers with a parking lot for 63 cars and a bus stop out front. Compare this with Magpie’s seating for 75 customers, Infinite Monkey Comics & Games’ 12 seats and Cowhaus seating for 30, for a total of over 117 seats with only six on-street public parking spaces in the same footprint or entire area of property previously owned by RAX.

This situation becomes acute when you consider Slow Train seats 70 customers, Kim’s Grocery & Carry Out seats 14, and then add Tree Hugger’s Cafe, the Ohio Educational Credit Union, Alumni Offices, Barron Gallery, Credo, The Oberlin Project, Palmentera & Associates, Chiropractor’s Office, OC Office of Community & Government Relations and OMDP law offices.

In addition to the 30-plus employees, there should be at least 250 public parking spaces to accommodate the potential customers, suggesting a total need of at least 280 parking spaces required for this retail block. But there are only 32 on-street public parking spaces available that are not marked reserved at this project.

Location, visibility, accessibility, adequate and convenient parking are critical features for eatery to survive, along with overhead cost factors to be avoided like unrealistically high rents, elevated liability insurance and excessive utility rates for electricity, water, sewer and gas.

All of these regretful aspects seem to be at play along with poor planning and management, and the real concern should be substituting another 75-seat food establishment at this site. The complaint that Oberlin Inn is the culprit is unjustified in that they will have over 240 off-street parking spaces behind the new hotel with over 70 on-street parking spaces on North Main Street when completed. That’s more than 310 nearby parking spaces available to their customers. Go figure, who should be building the parking garage?

Sincerely,

Tony Mealy
Oberlin resident

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