For the past six months when asked about the February One Place parking deck and Westin Hotel project the answer from city officials has been “We’re making progress.”
Anyone who drives past the site at the corner of East Market and Davie streets can readily see the only change from day to day is the level of the water in the big hole where buildings were demolished.
There was some news when the basement of the Dixie Building next door flooded, was condemned and then un-condemned in August, 2018, but it didn’t indicate any progress on the project itself.
In that light the statement from Greensboro City Manager David Parrish this week in answer to the same question about the status of the project: “We have been provided a contract” could be considered big news.
Parrish said the city attorneys were going over the contract and “cost sharing agreement.”
Parrish said, “We’re anxious to get going. We expect to have our own review done by the end of February.”
The City Council has already approved $30 million for its share of the project and Parrish said he could sign a contract and get construction underway, “As long as it complies with the authorization.”
On Dec. 19, 2017 at the first regular meeting of the current City Council, the Council was told it needed to vote to condemn the easements owned by Cone Denim Entertainment Center across the property where the parking deck is to be built, so that the project could move forward.
The result of that condemnation was that Cone Denim Entertainment owner Rocky Scarfone filed a lawsuit against the city which the city settled for about $1 million in cash, land and concessions in April of 2018. Once again the City Council was told it needed to settle the lawsuit to allow construction to move forward. The fact that the city valued the easements at $55,000, and paid $1.1 million for the entire parking lot, should put the million dollar easement settlement in perspective.
Scarfone actually came back to the city and got more concessions because he said the city was not complying with the terms of the settlement in regard to an addition to the back of the Cone Denim Entertainment building.
Once again the concessions had to be made reportedly not to hold up the parking deck and hotel construction project.
But here it is February, 2019 and the city is only now reviewing the proposed construction contract.
Something other than easements and settlements has been holding up the project, but nobody with the city will say what.