There’s a reason the Parador Partners parking garage project between SunTrust Tower and the Omni Hotel has amounted to little more than moving dirt around since the groundbreaking ceremony in December.
While excavating the Downtown site for construction of the 600-space multilevel parking facility, diesel fuel storage tanks that had been buried since the early 1900s were discovered, said Ashish Bahl, principal of Parador Partners, which owns the tower.
The Environmental Protection Agency wanted the tanks removed, along with some of the soil on the site.
That work has been completed and the project is set to resume, he said.
The city enacted a development agreement with Parador for the project and in 2011, City Council approved a $3.5 million subsidy for the garage, plus up to $1.6 million in additional funds based on the designation of spaces in the facility for public use.
In addition to parking spaces, future development of retail space along Hogan Street in the structure is part of the design.
Bahl said the additional expense for the removal of the tanks and remediation of contaminated soil will not affect the $10 million budget for the garage. It will however, add about six months to the projected completion date, originally set for September.
The precast concrete sections for the garage already have been constructed and are ready for assembly on the site.
“We’re looking now at first quarter of 2015,” he said. “We had contingency funds built into the budget. The only thing we didn’t have contingency for was time.”