Main Street Parking Structure
In 2006, the AT&T Corporation contacted Pueblo and expressed an interest in establishing a call center here that would bring more than 400 jobs to Downtown Pueblo. The Corporation was eager to come to Pueblo, but the parking challenge for future employees was a major disincentive.
While PURA was working to address those parking issues and assist in bringing AT&T to Pueblo, the City of Pueblo and the existing downtown Union Avenue Merchants were experiencing their own parking woes. Lack of downtown parking near the Pueblo Police Department filled the side streets with patrol cars. The Pueblo Convention Center was experiencing difficulties in hosting large scale events that would bring out-of-town attendees and new dollars to Downtown Pueblo because of its already crowded parking area. Downtown and Union Avenue merchants found themselves circling blocks to hunt for the next available parking space that was near their building, but leaving parking available for potential customers.
Because the AT&T call center would help PURA fulfill its mission to bring in businesses that would beautify a blighted area near the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project (HARP) – a project specifically created to entice new business and make Downtown Pueblo a destination – and because the City and Downtown businesses were also struggling with parking issues, PURA commissioners reached out to the National Development Council for its help.
In summer of 2006, PURA officials met with National Development Council representatives to apply for the New Markets Tax Credit, which was approved and finalized in December 2006. Because of the NDC’s assistance and the cooperative efforts of the City of Pueblo, Pueblo County and PURA, the City of Pueblo received a signed agreement from AT&T to establish a call center in Pueblo.
Immediately moving forward, PURA issued $9.5 million in revenue bonds in an effort to finance a 750-space parking garage, which would be located at the intersection of HARP and Central Main Street.
The new AT&T office was completed in 2007 and has not only created new jobs in Downtown Pueblo, but has also created new customers for downtown merchants by bringing hundreds of new workers to the area. The four-story brick structure created 300 parking spaces for the City of Pueblo, which has built a new state-of-the art facility next door to the parking structure.