Approval of a $37 million bond for construction of the February One-–Westin Hotel parking deck is on the agenda for the Tuesday, Dec. 15 City Council meeting.
The plan is for the developer to build a 720 space parking deck that will be owned and operated by the City of Greensboro and on top of the southern portion of the parking deck build a 180 room Westin Hotel.
The project has been fraught with delays since it was announced. In 2017, the city tried to condemn an easement owned by Cone Denim Entertainment and the city was sued by Rocky Scarfone, the owner of Cone Denim. The city finally reached a settlement for about $800,000 in the summer of 2018.
However, a construction contract between Elm Street Hotel LLC and the city was not signed until September 2019. That contract set the price of construction of the 720 space parking deck at $25.8 million.
After the construction contract was signed, City Manager David Parrish said that he expected to see foundations poured by the end of 2019 and construction coming out of the ground early in 2020. Parrish at the time estimated the completion date as early 2021.
Since that time the foundations have not been poured and, needless to say with early 2021 a couple of weeks away, not only is there no chance of completion of the parking deck, there is no chance that construction will be out of the ground.
Greensboro Department of Transportation Director Hanna Cockburn said that the $25.8 million construction contract was still in effect and that the bond authorization would not only finance the construction but the costs incurred by the city in purchasing the land, the easement issues and some of the unexpected underground conditions.
City Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann said, “I think the real cost of constructing the garage is close to $34 million.”
She also said that she wasn’t certain why construction had still not started on the parking deck but that she understood it was on the private side of the public-private partnership.
Assistant City Manager Larry Davis said that when all the costs were considered, including design and $1 million for contingency, the total cost to the city for the 720 space parking deck was over $36 million and was being rounded up to a maximum of $37 million.
The total cost of the 946 space Eugene Street Parking deck which is nearing completion according to Cockburn is about $30 million.