A 300-car garage recently opened on Balboa Peninsula that gives cars a lift.
The $9-million valet-parking garage at 309 Palm St. operated by Century Parking adopts a space-saving format common in East Coast cities. The four-level garage has no ramps. Instead, valets put the cars on 18-foot-long elevators that take them to an assigned floor.
Cars are then driven into stalls that can be suspended by a hydraulic lift so other cars can be parked below, creating double-stacked parking. Jim Fournier, general manager of the garage, said that by adding the lifts and elevators and eliminating ramps, the parking lot capacity is three times greater than that of a conventional garage.
The garage opened Thursday, the first night of the Christmas boat parade that draws hundreds of tourists and worsens the chronic parking problem around Newport Harbor.
Fournier said the garage, planned as part of the new Edgewater Place shopping and restaurant complex, will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will charge $1 an hour, to a maximum of $5, during the winter. The maximum charge for summer has not yet been determined.