Parking problems plague Downtown Tampa businesses

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Finding street parking can be difficult in Downtown Tampa. Business owners think construction and road work are making matters worse.

The construction of new condos on Cass Street and the rebricking of Tyler Street has eliminated many parking spaces, much to the detriment of nearby business owners.

“With all the road construction and everything, you have people just giving up. We have people who say, ‘We couldn’t find parking for blocks and blocks on end,’ so they just gave up and went home,” Drew Kim of Paramount Wigs said.

Sharon McCrorey brought her husband’s bike into a bike shop on Cass Street, only to find out it wasn’t going to be as easy to park as she thought. “Actually this is my first visit here and I am wondering if I am going to come back because I don’t have a good place to park,” McCrorey said.

Kevin Craft owns City Bike Tampa. While he likes the bike paths that have been created downtown, he’s worried they are taking up street parking spots. He said that could cost him business.

“The unfortunate part for us specifically is that there are number of competitive bike shops and if you can’t park here it is pretty easy to get to somebody else,” Craft said.

The new condos under construction mean more people will be moving downtown.

Francine Messano owns a yoga studio on Cass. “Even though we acknowledge that this work needs to be done and it is going to be great, we still have to exist as businesses and with prolonged road construction work we can only do so much,” Messano said.

Many of the area business owners will be meeting with city leaders next week to discuss the parking issue.

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