Construction of a four-level, 400-space parking deck at the Science Museum of Virginia could begin by the end of the year, a museum official said Thursday.

The parking deck would be located where a surface parking lot now exists between the museum at 2500 W. Broad St. and the Children’s Museum of Richmond at 2626 W. Broad St. Bids are being solicited now.

Once the parking deck is built, plans call for turning about 6 acres of land from DMV Drive to Terminal Place - basically in front of the two museums along West Broad Street - into a park-like green space, said Richard Conti, the museum's chief wonder officer.

It would be "a grand civic green space,” he told more than 100 people attending a tour Thursday afternoon sponsored by the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate.

The museum also is planning to place in the park a large "iconic art piece," which is expected to cost more than $1 million, he said. It is soliciting bids internationally now from artists for the project.

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