Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Water Street Parking Deck to be demolished this week; Grace Street will stay closed until Friday

Street level view of the Water Street parking deck downtown, set to be demolished before Friday. (Port City Daily /FILE PHOTO)
Street level view of the Water Street parking deck downtown, set to be demolished before Friday. (Port City Daily / FILE PHOTO)

WILMINGTON—As part of the city’s Riverplace Redevelopment Project, the Water Street Parking Deck is set to finally get demolished this week.

Grace Street, between Water Street and Front Street, will be temporarily closed until Friday, when it is expected to re-open. This closure is to allow the demolition of the parking deck to make way for a future mixed-use development.

“Motorists and pedestrians should use Walnut Street to access Water Street during the closure,” Malissa Talbert, communications manager for the city, wrote.

The city hired the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Development Finance Initiative (DFI) to propose an economically feasible redevelopment project for the parking deck. Initially constructed in the 1960s, DFI found the 1.2-acre deck to be nearing “functional obsolescence” and an “eyesore.”

The project has gone through a series of delays and increases in development costs since its initial proposal in March 2014. Demolition of the deck was initially scheduled for March 2016.

Development includes both commercial and public use, with 25,633 square feet to be used for retail shops, a restaurant and a bar. A minimum of 171 parking spaces will be made available to the public, while approximately 171 residential units will “wrap” the new parking deck according to the city’s website.

Current development plans will not surpass the city’s standing height requirement, a maximum of 132 feet. Public parking will be paid for by the city and will cost an estimated $19.7 million to $20.7 million.

The city expects the project to be completed late 2019.


Johanna Ferebee can be reached at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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