The new city parking deck on North Eugene Street across from the First National Bank Stadium, the home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, is under construction.
Samet Corporation is building the parking deck for the city and, according to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Samet is now in the first phase of construction, which is clearing, grading and utilities. Vaughan said that this parking deck had a tighter construction schedule than the February On Place-Westin Hotel deck because construction started in June on Slugger, the nine-story office building being built right beside the Grasshoppers’ stadium, and the city has contracted to provide parking spaces for that building.
Construction should move along pretty quickly on this parking deck because it is being built in the middle of the block bounded by North Eugene Street, Bellemeade Street, Friendly Avenue and Edgeworth Street. Since the deck will not have any street frontage, it doesn’t need to be built to look like something other than a parking deck. Most people don’t think parking decks are very pretty, but this one won’t be seen or it won’t be seen after Roy Carroll is finished building a mixed-use development around it at an estimated cost of $140 million. Preliminary plans for that development include a 20-story office tower and an Aloft Hotel. (Carroll also owns this publication.)
The tricky parts of getting this parking deck started were the various real estate transactions. Carroll bought the corner lot at Bellemeade and North Eugene several years ago and the city originally planned to build the parking deck on that lot with Carroll building a hotel over the parking deck. However, those plans fell through. City Manager David Parrish then came up with the current plan to build the parking deck in the interior of the lot. At the time, Guilford County owned the land.
The way it worked was Greensboro bought the remainder of the land from Guilford County, kept what was needed for the parking deck and entrances on North Eugene and Bellemeade and sold the remainder to Carroll. But the city also needed some of Carroll’s corner lot to place the parking deck in the most advantageous position. So the city and Carroll traded some land to make it work.
The city also discovered that a small portion of the Guilford County building on the corner of Friendly and Eugene, which is being used for mental health services, would have to be demolished. Since Greensboro had agreed to lease that building back to Guilford County for $1 a year, that caused a bit of a delay.
So the city had to buy land, sell land, trade land and demolish part of a building still being used by Guilford County before construction could get underway.
Vaughan said, “Sometimes you have to go through plans A, B, C and D to find a better plan.” But she added that having gone through all that, “I think we have a plan now that is really going to work well.”