Downtown Northport parking lot feud: City, lot owners at odds over rental agreement


By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

Some residents who live near historic downtown Northport say they’re worried upcoming events in the area won’t have enough parking for visitors after the owners of a much-used lot put up barriers and no-parking signs.

The parking lot on Main Street across from City Cafe closed about a week ago, meaning there are around 30 fewer spots accessible for patrons of area businesses.

The parking lot is owned by Everlasting Properties LLC, and it’s been used as a semi-public lot for years, offering spaces for patrons visiting shops like Anders Hardware, City Cafe, and Sue’s Flowers.

District 1 Northport City Council Member Christy Bobo, who represents the area, said the lot’s closure came after negotiations between the owners and the city fell apart.

The owners, Bobo said, wanted the city to agree to a $55,000, three-year lease. That would equate to about $1,500 a month.

“That property, I would imagine in the past has served so many individuals and everyone is thankful for it,” Bobo said. “Ultimately it serves the businesses downtown.”

Northport was willing to maintain the lot, Bobo said, but the proposed price on the lease was an issue.

“It may be a better idea for businesses to chip in to rent the lot,” she said. “You can’t really fault anyone for wanting to make money off their property or to not have it open to the public when there is liability. We offered to cover the insurance liability, to pave the parking lot, to restripe it and to maintain it and make sure there is no trash on it. That was not acceptable to the owner.”

Bobo said the city will ensure there is enough parking for Northport visitors during any upcoming events.

WVUA 23 visited City Café, Sue’s Flowers, Anders Hardware Store and Everlasting boutique. None of the owners or managers were willing to comment on camera.

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