Word from Forest Park Southeast business folks is that Alderman Joseph Roddy and other businesses is pushing for a parking lot on the LRA-owned lot at 4101 Manchester, just west of Manchester's intersection with Vandeventer. This is a prominent location that is one of the first things visitors see when coming from the east into the business district along Manchester. Nothing could be uglier and less exciting than a surface parking lot at the entrance to a growing business strip. The clubs, bars and restaurants here rely on the density slowly growing as new businesses open in proximity to each other. Why not put a new business at this hot location?
Manchester is not exactly a safe street, yet it attracts hundreds of people every weekend night. These people are coming to the nightlife without surface parking. If the lot gets developed for a building, the crowd at Atomic Cowboy or Novak's is not going to fall off -- the crowd will only grow. Surface parking in a major location would only reinforce people's reservations about the business district; people are encouraged by vitality, architectural density and storefront activity. This site is perfect for a new building.