On Nov. 19, City Council heard an update from the UNC School of Government's Development Finance Initiative (DFI) about their work to identify the best use for the site where the Water Street Parking Deck is currently located. The city has hired DFI to get citizen input and analyze site and market conditions to develop a recommendation about what, from an economic development perspective, is the best use of the property.
DFI outlined their preliminary findings, which include:
- The site should be developed with a mix of uses, emphasizing river views and adequate parking;
- Demand for residential and hotel uses is strong, while demand for office and retail uses is moderate;
- The site is not large enough to accommodate the type of public park for large gatherings that stakeholder feedback so far indicates is most wanted downtown;
- A municipal service district (MSA) that includes this parcel would provide additional legal authority and flexibility in developing a public/private partnership;
- An MSA allows certain types of incentives, but a tax does not have to be charged in an MSA, it can be tax free.
DFI is expected to wrap up their findings in mid 2014, at which time City Council will decide whether or not to move forward with seeking proposals to redevelop the site.
Watch the presentation.
View DFI's findings and recommendations.