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City working with business owner on downtown parking
Andrasek wants to turn lot into gathering space
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This artist’s rendition shows what the empty lot north of Charlie’s Place may look like once it is developed.

Downtown business owner Joe Andrasek envisions developing the empty lot north of his Charlie’s Place on Main Street into a multi-use gathering space. However, this would mean it would no longer be available as parking for his or other nearby establishments.

That is why he appeared before the Great Bend City Council Monday night. He was seeking some form of purchase or lease agreement with the city so the city-owned lot on Williams Street behind Charlie’s would remain open to parking.

“My concern is if we convert this and if something would ever come up down the road and we lose that parking back there,” he said.  “Then that would limit us to just having the parking on Main Street.”

He stressed he doesn’t want to restrict who parks there. Unified School District 428’s bus barn is next door and buses are stored there.

Andrasek said he was even willing to do some of the maintenance on the lot, short of having it resurfaced. 

Council members said they were agreeable with some sort of a deal, but were not ready to act quite yet. They asked City Attorney Allen Glendenning to draft a agreement allowing Andrasek to lease the property.

Andrasek asked that it be a long-term lease with an option to renew. 

The new plaza would be dubbed The Starting Line. It would be available as a venue for concerts, outdoor entertainment, vendor markets, community ceremonies and just as a gathering spot. Andrasek “wants to foster a sense of community pride and activity.”

It sits between Golden Belt Bicycle Company with the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association tribute mural and Dilly and Doc’s with it’s “Create” mural. 

Andrasek said he has no time line for the project. He was waiting for a decision on the parking before moving forward.

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On Monday night, the Great Bend City Council opted to look at a request from Joe Andrasek to purchase or lease the city-owned parking lot located on Williams between 11th and 12th streets behind Charlie’s Place.