The City-owned Fillmore Drive parking lot came to be owned by the City in 1995. Before the parking lot was created, the land that is now the Fillmore lot consisted of two triangular shaped parcels with Fillmore Drive going diagonally straight through the site. A group of St. Armands commercial landowners contacted the owner of the property and began negotiating for its acquisition. The same group of landowners approached the City and expressed their interest in using the site for public parking for the businesses on St. Armands Circle. The City subsequently purchased the property in 1995.
The City financed the acquisition of the property by means of a special assessment that was levied on the properties within the Commercial Tourist zone district on St. Armands Key. The special assessment was collected over a twenty (20) year period from 1996 to 2016. The assessment was paid by the property owners in the form of an annual assessment added to property tax bills each year for the 20 year duration of the assessment.
Because of the high number of "triple net" leases on the Circle, in which such costs are passed on to the Lessee, it is probably fair to say that many of the business owners who were not property owners also participated in paying off the assessment, thus funding the acquisition of the Fillmore parking lot to be used for parking to support their businesses.
To learn more about the 2021-2022 effort to develop a hotel and market at the Fillmore Lot, click here.