Downtown Friday Harbor to have 37 new parking spots by July Fourth

Town Signs Lease for Downtown Parking Area

Submitted by the Town of Friday Harbor

There will soon be a new parking lot in downtown Friday Harbor.

The parking area will be on the former Browne’s Lumber lot, located at 330 Spring Street, near the intersection with Argyle Avenue. Town of Friday Harbor officials hope to open the site shortly after the parade on July Fourth.

Town officials will rent the space from JAC 330 Spring St. LLC to alleviate a historic parking downtown shortage.

“We have worked on a solution to our parking crunch for a long time,” said Town Administrator Duncan Wilson. “While this is not a permanent fix, we hope it may lead to some opportunities in the future.”

If JAC owners want to develop the property, the five-year lease will be terminated. In the interim, the town will pay rent for the front portion of the property to hold about 37 parking spots.

The town plan calls for free parking for up to 10 hours. Business employees, residents and visitors can park for the day in the heart of Friday Harbor without the time limitations of on-street parking. Town officials hope this parking will be utilized by business employees, who will be in town for extended periods, freeing up valuable space for those wishing to make shorter stops.

Town Mayor Carrie Lacher is optimistic the arrangement.

“Over the years, this property has often been identified as an ideal location that could provide both adequate space and close-in access,” she said. “We are looking forward to the significant benefits of this development. Our sincerest thanks to the Carnevali family for working with the town to address this long-standing issue in our community.”

Town employees will move fencing and grade the land to prepare the site. Parking curb stops will be installed and there will be a one-way internal circulation through the parking area. Two spaces will be reserved for disabled parking. Additional beautification and improvements will be added as time allows.

“Another exciting element is that this lease will enable pedestrian traffic to use the western portion of the property to gain access to Ellsworth Avenue and Blair Avenue, providing relief to another long-standing transportation issue,” said Wilson.

Wilson asks for patience while the final touches and signs are added to the lot over the next several months.