LEWISTON – It would be smarter to build all four stories of a proposed Lincoln Street garage now and not break it into phases, according to developer Tom Platz.

Platz presented design plans to the City Council on Tuesday for the 375-space parking garage that would replace part of the parking lot southwest of the Bates Mill building at the corner of Main and Lincoln streets.

Building the garage at once, with all four stories and 375 spaces and space for retail stores, would cost the city $8.5 million.

Building the garage with three stories and room for 258 parking spaces and the retail space would cost $6.6 million now. Building the additional story would cost $2.2 million later on, a total of $8.8 million for the project.

“So that’s our recommendation, that the best bet is to build the entire garage in one piece and not divide it up,” Platz said.

Councilors are scheduled to vote on a design plan for the garage at their June 16 meeting.

The garage is part of an effort to bring more parking spaces to the downtown as called for in a 2004 Bates Mill exit strategy with Platz Associates. Platz took over the Bates Mill Enterprise Complex, including all buildings but the massive sawtooth-roofed Bates Mill No. 5. According to that agreement, the city must provide 1,162 parking spaces through 2011, and no more than 450 spaces per year.

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