A privately owned lot on Canyon Road that long had offered public parking for customers of nearby businesses is scheduled to undergo $350,000 worth of improvements, according to a city of Santa Fe building permit.

The half-acre lot, near The Teahouse and El Farol, has been chained off since Dec. 31.

While an opening date for the renovated lot has not been announced, business owners are looking forward to the project’s completion.

“People are parking blocks away on Alameda and Acequia Madre,” Teahouse owner Rich Freedman said.

The Teahouse has its own parking area, but it has only eight or nine spaces.

“People park on the street where there is no parking,” Freedman said. “People leave because they are meeting someone and they can’t find a parking space.”

The parking area closed after the city’s five-year lease to operate it as a public lot expired. The Salazar Survivor’s Trust, which owns the lot, did not renew the lease because the property was is in probate following the June 2020 death of longtime property owner Roman Salazar, his grandson Justin Salazar said in January.

Justin Salazar did not respond to calls seeking comment on the parking lot project.

Building plans for the permit, issued June 23, indicate the overhaul will create 50 parking spaces as well as embedded sensor loops and gate arms at the entrance and exit. Four parking spaces will be reserved for people with disabilities.

The plans show two lanes with parking on both sides. A landscaped median will run down the middle of the parking lot. Landscaping also will set apart the sidewalk from the parking lot, and a retaining wall will be installed between the sidewalk landscaping and the lot.

The trees planned for the site are western hackberry, New Mexico privet, chinkapin oak, bur oak, frontier elm and Emerald Sunshine elm. The listed shrubs and vines are Apache plume, dwarf fragrant sumac, three-leaf sumac, golden currant, lilac and English ivy.

There will be light poles at the gated arms, another in the center of the lot and one at the northern edge.

The lot entrance will be at the southwest corner of the 0.533-acre lot and the exit along the western edge, halfway back.

GM Emulsion of Santa Fe is the general contractor.

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