The city received several top quality proposals to redevelop the obsolete Water Street Parking Deck, which is a key riverfront property in the heart of downtown. Once underway, this project will result in a public/private revitalization partnership that will:
- Replace existing public parking, including parking for nearby businesses and growth from the site’s redevelopment;
- Provide public space and pedestrian-friendly connectivity to Front Street; and
- Include privately-owned residential and retail uses that will increase our tax base and result in more people living downtown, which will stimulate further economic development.
At their meeting on Feb. 17, the Wilmington City Council selected East West Partners to begin negotiations on a multi-use development at the site of the Water Street parking deck.
During their May 19, 2015, City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding, which is the first step in the development. It is generally a non-binding agreement, but lays out the path toward a binding purchase and development agreement. Highlights include:
- A city-owned parking deck of 505 spaces – 280 for public use and the remaining 225 to be leased or purchased by East West (total number of spaces is less than the original proposal of 554 spaces);
- The city maintains approval rights on the design;
- The cost of air rights (for private development above city-owned parking) will be determined by appraisals conducted on behalf of the city;
- East-West will provide an estimate for city investment costs within 180 days;
- A binding provision that gives East-West exclusive negotiation rights with the city for 180 days. In turn, East-West will deposit $100,000 in escrow to cover city costs should East-West choose not to move forward with a development agreement.
- The city and East-West have agreed to stay within existing height restrictions, which is shorter than what was initially proposed.
Watch the video from the May 19 City Council meeting
View the resolution and agreement
There will be many additional steps before a final agreement is reached.