With a ribbon stretched across a portion of the parking lot, city leaders, business owners and community volunteers gathered to celebrate the completion of the Marler Street parking lot.



"I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who has worked so hard to complete this project," said Councilwoman Sandy Trammell. "This is a real asset to Destin's citizens and its visitors."



The parking lot will help the city alleviate some of the parking concerns they had seen at the businesses along the south side of U.S. Hwy. 98 by adding 147 additional spaces, which includes six handicap spots, on the north side of the roadway.



In addition to the parking spaces, the lot will also feature benches, trash cans, and bicycle parking. The $500,000 project, which broke ground in January, came in under budget, Trammell announced with a big cheer.



The city acquired the property, which was home to nine bungalows and two cinder block buildings, in 2009. The lot was once home to the Destin Post Office, Trammell said, as well as SOS Printing and Graphics.