The new car park, which would have around 250 spaces and cost around £5 million, would be built on the site of the surface car park on Victoria Street and include commercial businesses on the ground floor.
The proposal is designed to be a catalyst to the further regeneration of the Victoria Street area and would meet the demand of new hotels close to the site which do not have their own car parking, including the recently opened Hilton Doubletree on Sir Thomas Street.
It is estimated the new car park will generate a net revenue of £521,000 after borrowing costs, as well as income from a digital advertising screen and renting out the retail units.
Under the plans, £3 million from the Department for Transport’s Local Growth Fund would be used to improve the highways, public realm and pavements on Victoria Street to make it more attractive and act as a catalyst for further investment and regeneration.
Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This area of Victoria Street has been improved recently with the addition of new hotels and student accommodation and we know there is a demand for more car parking space.
“It also gives us an opportunity to invest in the roads and pavements on Victoria Street which are badly in need of improvement. This area is busy during the day and night and at the moment parts of the infrastructure look extremely tired and worn, so we would want to look at widening the pavements and creating more greenery.
“This scheme would also generate a significant amount of income which we badly need to offset the cuts from Central Government and can reinvest in other projects or services.
“We will make sure that the design of the car park is high quality and does not adversely impact on the surrounding buildings.”
The cost of building the car park is estimated to be around £5 million which would be covered by borrowing on an invest to earn basis, with the debt cost covered by the income from people using the car park.
Council records show that the site was previously home to a large building called Government House which housed the city’s courtrooms as well as administrative offices for the council, but was destroyed by a World War Two bomb.
The scheme, which could be up to four storeys high, would be sensitively designed to fit in with the local surroundings, notably the council’s Municipal Buildings and take account of the listed Hilton Doubletree on Sir Thomas Street.
If approved and subject to planning, it is hoped the car park could open in time for Christmas 2017.
A report about the proposal will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday 18 March.