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UNC advises city on Water St. parking deck

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council Tuesday heard an update on the best way to develop the site where the Water Street parking deck stands.

The UNC School of Government's Development Finance Initiative's preliminary findings reveal the area is not large enough for the type of public park people want. Instead, the group says the site should be developed for a mix of uses, emphasizing river views and parking.

Among DFI's other findings:
·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;
·A 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 its findings by the middle of next year. After that, City Council will debate what to do with the site.

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