Posted on November 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM
Tuesday, Nov 13 at 7:01 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Elena King uses the parking lot on Central Avenue between Pecan and Thomas Avenues, especially on the weekends when she hangs out at some of the trendy night spots in the Plaza Midwood area.
"I do park here sometimes," King said, "Sometimes when we come out we park here; we typically take a cab home. It's been really convenient for that."
King said she was unaware that people who come to any of the venues in the area may have to start paying to park in spots that have been free for years.
Recently customers who park in the huge lot have been greeted with a parking attendant and a fee if they want to park in the hundred or so spots closest to Pecan Avenue.
Rob Nixon, owner of the Peculiar Rabbit, said he signed a five year lease with the property owner to make sure his workers and customers had places to park near his establishment. He also said the city requires him to have adequate parking and the fee can be recouped if someone spends $50 in his restaurant or night club.
"It makes sense for the community to charge for parking; it' been free, which is really nice but as the city grows, things like parking we can't take for granted--cheap free parking," King said.
While King does not mind paying $5 to park in a lot where for years most of the spaces have been free, others are upset about the move made by the owners of the Peculiar Rabbitt, which opened a few months ago.
"If you go to NoDa you have to pay for parking, if you go downtown you have to pay for parking," said Rob Nixon, who has owned the property where the Peculiar Rabbitt now sits since 2005, "I'm doing my best for the neighborhood to make the city grow."