The Greensboro City Council made yet another change to the agreement to build the February 1 Place parking deck and Westin Hotel complex at its Tuesday, Jan. 5 meeting.
Last month, the City Council approved an increase in total cost for the February 1 parking deck from $30 million to $37 million. The adjustment on the agenda this month is to change the joint ownership agreement with Elm Street Hotel LLC to a condominium structure.
City Manager David Parrish said, “We were going to do an air rights agreement, but condominium agreements are much more common in North Carolina.”
The cost increase approved last month, plus a reduction in the total number of parking spaces, will result in the February 1 parking deck costing about $20,000 more per space than the nearly complete Bellemeade Street parking deck across the street from the Grasshoppers stadium.
Parrish at the December meeting said that the February 1 parking deck would cost more in part because a different method of construction was being used and the February 1 parking deck will have retail spaces on the first floor.
However, several city officials have said that another reason the February 1 parking deck was costing so much more to build is that it has to be constructed to have a hotel built on top of it.
You don’t have to be an expert in construction to know that building a stand-alone parking deck is less expensive than building a parking deck that will support a 180-room hotel built on top of it.
But when this whole process began, city councilmembers assured the taxpayers that the additional cost of building a parking deck sturdy enough to support the weight of a 180-room hotel would be borne by Elm Street Hotel LLC, which is building the hotel, not the city.
When asked if some of the increased cost of the February 1 parking deck was the result of having to build it sturdy enough to place a hotel on top of it, City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “That’s my understanding.”