Politics & Government

Parking deck idea well-received

Durham County commissioners gave a warm reception Monday night to a request that the county build a $7.54 million parking deck to support Greenfire's downtown redevelopment projects.

Commissioners took no direct action, but praised the idea as a means of reviving the inner city.

"It looks like a true win-win," Commissioner Lewis Cheek said.

Greenfire principals Michael Lemanski and Carl Webb, along with Assistant County Manager Carolyn Titus, presented a deal expected to bring the county about $5 million annually in new property taxes.

The 320-vehicle deck would be built on the surface lot north of the county Judicial Building. The county investment would be contingent upon Greenfire's completing four of its own projects, totaling an estimated $94.8 million.

Those projects include a 264,000-square-foot commercial building on the former Woolworth's site at 119 W. Parrish St. and a 22,440-square-foot "wrapper" building around a new city-built parking garage on Chapel Hill Street.

Greenfire would also have to enclose the county parking deck with a retail/residential wrapper.

"All design would be subject to the county's approval," Titus said.