New garage set to alleviate parking issues at Port Charlotte hospital

A Southwest Florida hospital is launching a $21 million renovation project that should help frustrated drivers who can’t find places to park.

People like Nelida Mulloon know parking is a huge issue at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte.

“When my cousin was there, I went to visit and I did have to drive around for a few minutes before I found a spot,” Mulloon said.

The main lots at the hospital are often packed. Currently, the hospital offers valet parking at both the main entrance and emergency room entrance to save patients and visitors the hassle.

“Parking has been tremendously tight…beyond and there is a lot of people in and out,” said Port Charlotte resident Linda Goode.

The hospital says that they’ve seen a large increase in patients and visitors in the last several years.

Soon, officials say they will begin construction of a new four-story parking garage that would add 350 parking spaces to help meet the demand.

“I think it will be less stress on the patients and the family members that are there staying there with their loved ones. And the doctors and the staff will be a little more not stressed out,” Goode said.

The garage is just a small portion of the $21 million renovation and expansion project the hospital is currently undergoing. But until it is completed, parking will remain scarce.

However, the hospital is now discussing the possibility of leasing 90 additional parking spots from the Cultural Center of Charlotte County.

“I think it’s important that the doctors and the patients that come to the hospital have a place to park,” Mulloon said.

While some at the Cultural Center complain those parking spaces will be needed during high season, others insist there are more than enough spots to go around and that the deal is good for the center too.

“They get paid for the spots, so that’s more money for them and they can use that money to help the people that come and need help and stuff so it’s a win-win,” Mulloon said.

The Cultural Center of Charlotte County says they expect the parking agreement to be finalized soon.

It is unclear when the construction of the parking garage will begin.

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