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City considering new parking solution for zoo
City of Memphis considering new parking solution for Memphis Zoo
Posted on 12/18/2019
The City of Memphis, with the agreement and support of partners Memphis Zoo and Overton Park Conservancy, announced today that it is pausing further work on the parking solution at Overton Park to consider a promising new structured parking solution that could result in no or minimal lost green space. 
The City will use the pause in construction to evaluate the efficacy and suitability of a modular parking deck solution for the Prentiss Place lot area, immediately west of the Zoo’s main parking lot. Early evaluation of the solution shows enough promise for the City and its partners to move forward with more diligence to verify that the project is feasible and within the existing cost estimates. This solution, could offer as many as 240 additional spaces on top of an expanded Prentiss place lot, yielding 348 of the 415 required new spaces, and significantly decreasing the number of spaces needed from an expanded zoo main parking lot. 
“After looking into the feasibility of this solution in recent months, we reached out to both the Zoo and the Conservancy to gauge their interest, and both Zoo President Jim Dean and the Conservancy Executive Director Tina Sullivan are open to reviewing it,” City Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen said. “While we have more work ahead of us, we feel optimistic enough about this solution that we should pause before we begin removing and/or transplanting trees from the main lot, which was the next item on the project schedule for expanding the zoo main lot.” 
Contracted crews have completed 90 percent of construction on the first phase of the original multi-phase plan, which was an addition of parking capacity at the Prentiss Place lot. The next phase would have involved the removal of dozens of trees, which is best done during the winter. 
Overflow Zoo parking will continue on the Greensward while the new solution is being pursued and implemented. Should the new solution ultimately not be determined as feasible, work on the original plan will resume next winter. 
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