GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You've probably been in this predicament before: driving around, looking for a parking spot, no luck to be had.
But city officials in Greensboro are hoping to help fix that problem downtown. There's a plan in the works to build two new parking decks that could bring almost 2,000 more spaces. But for some people that doesn't solve the problem, it creates more.
"It would be a complete debacle," explains Jeff Furr, co-owner of the Cone Denim Entertainment Center.
Furr is worried a new parking deck behind his music venue would drop the curtain on his business. He says the city's design for the deck at the corner of February One and Davie Streets would block an easement they have behind the building. They need it clear for their acts and crews to get in and out.
Jeff Furr is one of the co-owners of the music venue -- he says a proposed deck at February One and Davie Streets would cut off an easement they have behind the building -- they need it clear for their acts and crews to get in and out. Blocking the easement could put them at risk of violating fire codes and other public safety concerns.
City officials say they're trying to work with the owners, saying they don't want to put anyone out of business.
"There's potential in the back of the deck and there's potential along the street to give them access," explains David Parrish, Assistanct City Manager for the City of Greensboro. "We're working, trying to negotiate in our situation to hopefully put them up with a reasonable accommodation that would satisfy their needs."
The city is working on two new decks downtown; the one behind Cone Denim and another at Eugene and Bellemeade to go along with the hotel and other development around the Grasshoppers Stadium. The city says it's simply supply and demand. They're maxed out and need more parking, especially if they want to keep attracting new businesses to the area.
But that doesn't put Furr at ease.
"We want to stay in business," he says. "We like what we do."
In a public information session Tuesday night, a handful of people expressed more concerns about paying off the new parking decks and availability of space to the general public. The city says the parking decks will pay for themselves, with a hike in prices for leasing spaces and an increase in tax revenue from new businesses around the decks.
"We know there will be future growth," explains Mayor Nancy Vaughan. "If we wait much longer, these parking decks will be full. At some point you have to be bold."
The city will have a better estimate on prices once the parking deck plans are complete. City Council would need to approve the plans which should be completed next year.
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