The City of Annapolis and residents received current plans for, and updates on, the demolition and redevelopment of Noah Hillman Garage, at a City Council Work Session. This public garage closest to the MACo offices may be unavailable for an extended time, beginning in January 2022.
Annapolis Mobility & Resilience Partners (AMRP) reported that significant progress has been made with City Dock over the last few months. Their most recent presentation, Reinvesting in Annapolis’ Waterfront, highlighted the changes to the redevelopment of Annapolis’ waterfront and the updated schematic designs, parking and mobility strategy, and communication approach for the construction of the new Noah Hillman Garage.
Construction on Hillman Garage (the parking garage used by most visitors to the MACo offices) is projected to begin late January 2022 and would be expected to run until April 2023. Construction on City Dock will begin January 2023 and will conclude in March 2024.
The Historic Preservation Commission recommended moving forward with the schematic design for Hillman in July and is expected to grant a certificate of approval. The Planning Commission will grant a site design approval.
The current design of the remodeled Noah Hillman has an optimistic eye on the future, providing congested Downtown Annapolis with increased overall parking capacity, green features such as PV panels, bike racks, and charging stations for electric vehicles, and string lights on the rooftop.
While the rebuilt Hillman garage is expected to have a smaller overall footprint, the garage will host 590 parking spots, which will accommodate the parking removed from City Dock. The smaller footprint will enable the reinvigoration of Gorman Street, making it safer for both pedestrians and vehicular traffic. Native plant life will enhance the “park-like” feel around the garage.
Vehicular users will enter and exit from both Gorman and Duke of Gloucester streets with new gateless access, which aims to reduce traffic in and out of the garage. The open-concept design of the garage seeks to make the garage feel safe and inviting, as well as enabling it to become a multipurpose venue for future public events, thereby increasing its value to the community.
The rooftop will host the building’s PV panels, which will provide renewable energy to the grid and charge the electric vehicles. Additionally, it will provide shade for vehicles and serve as the canopy to which the proposed string lights will connect. Additional light poles will be added to the perimeter of the rooftop for increased visibility.
Interim mobility plans, such as shuttle systems from surrounding garages and parking lots, are being explored. Fixed schedules and routes for weekdays and peak hours and on-demand mobility options for weekends and off-peak hours will provide alternatives for residents and visitors alike. The alternative mobility options also seek to reduce noise and congestion in the Downtown area.
Communication to the public at large regarding upcoming changes include removing street signs to Hillman, updating third party databases and city websites, integrating information on mobility options, and creating new signage at City Dock and Downtown in the long term.