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City Council Hears Wilmington Parking Deck Proposal

By Roderick McClain

04-05-11 –

Planners say a rebuilt Water Street parking deck would create almost 90 jobs, house 130 downtown residents, and feature 200 parking spaces. Wilmington city officials agree the current structure which is 50% city-owned is in need of repairs, though construction of a parking deck with integrated apartments needs to make financial sense.

The company 200 Water will propose a rebuilt Water Street parking deck at tonight's City council meeting. Terry Espy works with the Momentum Group, a development firm planning the parking structure renovations. She says the project would attract residents 55 and older who maintain a high level of community engagement.

"The people that get involved at Thalian, they open shops, they eat out a lot. It would be transitioning downtown to the next level. It's just pulling it up a step, and that's normal transition in urban environments."

Espy says the proposal is time-sensitive and that investors may not be around in six or eight months. Councilman Kevin O'Grady says the council must go into closed session to discuss the situation. The current parking deck has 400 parking spots.

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