Many businesses in downtown Wilmington are concerned that parking rates will rise on August 1.

Downtown Wilmington parking rates set to increase on August 1st, many businesses concerned

WILMINGTON N.C. (WECT), – Wilmington has increased downtown parking rates effective August 1. Street parking will now be two dollars an hour. If you plan to park in the Market Street or 2nd Street parking decks then the first 30 minutes of parking will be charged at no charge.

“[People] don’t want to pay to come in and shop somewhere,” Jacob Motsinger, co-owner of Memory Lane Comics. “It was a selling point of us moving down here was that we got an hour and a half of parking for everybody for free. And we were like, ‘We’re gonna move right next to a parking deck, it’ll be an hour and a half for free.’ If you need more than I have to shop for comic books, like you might as well pay for it. But that was always kind of like a point of like, it’s not new. It’s all doable. And it definitely feels like it’s a bit of a strain.”

Memory Lane Comics is located at the corner 2nd Street and Princess Street, downtown Wilmington. Motsinger, his brother, owns the business. He stated that the brothers have been in the area for five years and recently opened another location. This higher parking cost could be a problem for his business, says Motsinger.

“I’m sure we have a lot more people that are that are in and out as opposed to take a minute and shopping around. Now it’s almost like we can ship it to you in town for cheaper than your ability to get down here and shop,” Motsinger said.

He says most of his employees live close enough that they walk to work, but other businesses, especially restaurants, say they aren’t too happy about the rate increases because employees will have to pay those rates, which in turn comes right out of their paychecks.

The city’s parking staff did a study last year to compare Wilmington to other cities like Asheville and Charleston, and Wilmington’s parking rates were much lower than others.

Motsinger says that’s what sets Wilmington apart, so he hopes rates don’t increase any more than they already have.

“I get why they would want to compare us to places like that, but I want to be better than Asheville or Charleston. That’s why we live here,” he said. “I don’t think this point prices us out of being able to do this, but anything more than that would make us at the start to consider what we would read want to be with the business.”

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