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New parking garage in downtown Gilbert opens this weekend

(KTAR News Photo/Kevin Stone)

PHOENIX – Parking is about to become less scarce in downtown Gilbert.

The East Valley town announced it was opening a second parking garage in the Heritage District on Saturday, two weeks before a massive new restaurant debuts.

The Hearne Plaza Garage will eventually add nearly 600 spaces, including six electric vehicle charging stations, to the dining and entertainment district lining Gilbert Road north of Elliot Road.

At first, the garage will be accessible only from the south via Vaughn Avenue, east of Gilbert Road, and the top floor won’t be open.

A second access point on the west side of the structure will open March 25 off Hearne Way, just south of the new Culinary Dropout, a 25,000-square-foot restaurant and bar scheduled to open April 2.

The neighborhood’s first parking garage opened off Vaughn Avenue west of Gilbert Road in 2014, but multiple businesses have opened in the area since then, including Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, O.H.S.O Brewery and The Brass Tap.

The new garage, which has nearly twice the capacity of the existing one, features a prominent clock tower facing Gilbert Road that lights up at night.

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