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The City Plan Commission approved a project Wednesday that plans to add more than 800 spaces to New Haven’s parking-starved downtown.

Mid-Block Garage, originally designed for the intersection of Elm and Orange streets, is now slated for construction on an SBC-owned site at the intersection of Wall and State streets, pending final approval by the Board of Aldermen. City officials said that escalating costs had made the original plans economically unfeasible, and after reviewing the zoning and design challenges of the SBC-owned site, the commission recommended that the new location be approved with minor site-specific alterations, Deputy Director of Economic Development Tony Bialecki said. The final decision on the new site will be put to a vote at the Board of Aldermen in February, but is expected to pass easily, Bialecki said.

“The Board of Aldermen funding proposed … was all site-specific on the former location,” Bialecki said. “That is the amendment basically, it’s really just a site change.”

Since the SBC-owned site was much cheaper to acquire than the original, the city stands to save more than $4 million from the site change, Parking Authority Executive Director William Kilpatrick said. Assuming aldermanic approval, construction is slated to begin by the end of the year, Kilpatrick said.

Mid-Block Garage is one of several downtown garages slated for construction over the next few years. City officials project the parking demand to rise by 2010 due to the Gateway Redevelopment Project.

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