Parking study released for new Cornell Complex in downtown Joplin, some feel, there aren’t enough spaces

JOPLIN, Mo. – Connect2Culture has released the results of a parking study for the Harry M. Cornell Complex coming to Joplin. They say it shows there is ample parking near their future facility. However, at least one downtown business owner says he’s worried there isn’t enough space.

The results of that parking study say there are 932 parking existing parking spaces within a one block radius of where the Cornell Complex will be, and just over 1,600 within a two block radius. However, some business owners feel, it may not be enough. Alex Menejias, Owner, El Guapo’s says “It could adversely affect a lot of the businesses downtown here, we’re already slow in the first place, if you eliminate more parking to accommodate stuff for the Cornell Complex, then it could potentially mean less people coming to my place.”

Alex Menejias is the owner of El Guapo’s in downtown. He’s concerned that with the removal of the Memorial Hall parking lot for the Cornell Complex, that will send people searching for parking elsewhere. However, Clifford Wert with Connect2Culture says, they’ve already planned for that. “A couple of years ago when we started this whole project, we went to adjoining private property owners and we sought and we received written support for the use of their private parking facilities during non-business hours.”

Wert says that includes the Liberty Utilities lots, as well as the Community Clinic, Pinnacle Bank, and the lots owned by the Joplin School District. “When you look at the street parking, the public parking that surrounds this facility, and those very generous supporters of making Joplin and downtown a great place, we believe that we have a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of those existing spaces.”

Menejias says he’s not against the Cornell Complex, in fact, he says he’s hopeful it will generate more business for him on nights of shows, but, he wishes there was more involvement. “I always feel as though it falls on me to go talk to them about how they’re going to negatively impact my business, and I hope it doesn’t negatively impact my business, I want it to be a positive thing, but if they’re the ones that are going to be causing the effect on businesses, then they should be making the effort to come talk to the small business owners and get our input on it.”

Wert says they’ll have parking attendants on hand to help ensure all parking spaces are properly utilized and they hope to have an ‘asphalt breaking’ this coming January.

We also reached out to the owners of Joplin Avenue Coffee Company and Carmines who both say they’re not concerned about the parking situation.