PPA puts new shine inside and out on parking garage, but price tag grows

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    The former Gallery Mall parking garage has been transformed into the Parkade at 8th. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    The former Gallery Mall parking garage has been transformed into the Parkade at 8th. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Officials cut the ribbon on a major parking garage transformation just off East Market Street in Center City.

    The Philadelphia Parking Authority spent $33 million renovating the former Gallery Mall garage and retail properties underneath.  

    Parking authority executive director Vince Fennerty said the project was 18 percent more expensive than planned because of structural problems.

    “We had to rebuild the superstructure of the garage … there were many many full-depth repairs,” he said.  “Then, when we looked at them, we thought there were going to be partial-depth concrete repairs they ended up being full depth.  We repaired everything correctly to the highest engineering standards. It cost millions of dollars more than we anticipated, but we did the job right.”

    Workers spruced up the exterior with a system of glass panels with LED lights that throw color on the panels.

    “You see the brilliance during the day of the different colors that reflect, and then at night it’s lit up with all different colors, it shows a beautification of the area,” he said.

    Parking fees will not increase to pay for the renovations, Fennerty said.

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