PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Finding a parking space in Uptown Pittsburgh just became a little easier.

Hundreds of new spots are now available at the site of the former Civic Arena. Nearly 400 new spots are now up for grabs.

“Town could always use more parking; sometimes things get a little boxed out, and the closer it is to town, the better, as far as I’m concerned,” said Johannes Ernharth, who works Downtown.

This is just the first phase of parking lot development on the land where the Civic Arena once stood.

Eventually, there will be a total of 800 new spaces.

Drivers say although the parking, for $7 a day, is cheaper than a lot of other lots and conveniently located, there is still some sadness.

“I grew up as a kid going to the Civic Arena. To see it gone, a hole in the ground for a while and now just a parking lot, it’s sort of sad to see it go but that’s the way things go,” said Ernharth.

The lot was pretty empty on day one; but drivers say given the parking situation downtown, they expect the spaces to fill up fast once more and more people realize they are available.

“This is great,” said Mashawn Lorenz, who also works Downtown. “I think once people know that it’s open, they will have a lot more traffic.”

“I’ve seen an increase in people coming in,” added Don Kobert, a parking attendant.”I did probably 20 or 30 more cars than usual.”

However, the parking is temporary. The plan is to someday turn the area into a vibrant development.

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