Milford paves and lines 112 new downtown parking spots

There are 112 new paved, lined parking spaces alongside the Milford train station in downtown Milford. Most will be for commuters during the week, but residents and shop-goers can park there weekends and weeknights, and the lot will be open for public parking this Friday, when Milford hosts its Kick Off to Summer fireworks display.

The new parking spaces were made possible with a city purchase of downtown property — 44 to 64 River Street, 0 River Street, 145 High Street and 0 Railroad Avenue. The city paid for the parcels, which include the building that houses Corner Convenience, Scratch Baking and other businesses, with $5 million in state funds; the state also provided $150,000 to pay for a site plan and market analysis.

Mayor Ben Blake has said another 200 or more spaces will be added over the next three years. While there has been talk of a parking garage, Blake has said studies still have to determine the exact concept. The ultimate plan is to create a retail area with an anchor store on the property, Blake reiterated this week, noting that completing the entire project is still several years down the road.

In February after some debate over who should manage the city-owned building downtown and the parking associated with it, Milford aldermen voted to hire a management company to oversee the property and collect parking fees. The city entered into a contract with Parry Real Estate Services of Broad Street at a cost of $1,250 per month. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2017, with the option to renew for an additional year and up to five years. The company will manage the parking lot, oversee landscaping, snow removal and maintenance.

Commuters pay $7 a day; $25 a week or $80 a month for parking, according to the mayor. Blake said the new paved lot, combined with the parking lot at the Corner Convenience building, will be mixed use, some for commuters, some for people who work in the River Street building, some for customers of those shops, and some marked two-hour parking for other downtown shoppers or visitors.

For permit and paid parking, people need to see the parking attendant, according to Parry Real Estate.

Blake said that signs indicating who can park where are still being made.

He said that on nights and weekends, the parking will be open to anyone, with the caveat being that cars have to be out of the lot outside Corner Convenience for the Saturday morning farmers market.