The City of Greensboro sent out a curious press release about the new Eugene Street Parking Deck on Wednesday, June 23.

The press release states, “The new Eugene Street Parking Deck, at 215 N. Eugene St., is now open and accepting hourly and monthly parkers.  Located across the street from [First National Bank Field], it is the first parking deck the City has built downtown in more than 30 years.”

What makes the press release curious is that the Eugene Street deck has been open for months.  Anyone driving past since March could see vehicles parked in the parking deck, which would seem to mean it was open.

However, there was a major change that began at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, which is that parking in the Eugene Street Parking Deck is no longer free.

There were issues with the parking operations equipment that accepts payment and lets vehicles in and out of the deck, so the city decided to allow free parking in the deck until those issues could be worked out.  In February, Greensboro Department of Transportation Director Hanna Cockburn estimated it would take a month or six weeks to get the necessary equipment.  It turned out to be longer and people got additional months of free parking.

So, while the parking deck was technically open – meaning that people could park their vehicles in the deck – it wasn’t open in the sense of a money-making enterprise.

Although the address for the parking deck is Eugene Street, it doesn’t front on Eugene Street, or on Bellemeade Street either.  The new parking deck is positioned in the middle of the block, and The Carroll Companies owns the street frontage on Eugene, Bellemeade and Friendly Avenue.

Roy Carroll, the president and owner of The Carroll Companies, in 2019 announced plans to build a $140 million mixed-use development that will include a hotel and office, as well as retail and residential space on three sides of the parking deck.  The mixed-use development, which is tentatively named Carroll South of the Ballpark, will essentially hide the parking deck from view.

Carroll also owns the Rhino Times.