Greensboro ready for new downtown hotel, parking deck

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro is getting ready to build a new parking deck downtown. The proposed deck on February One Place will add more space for people staying at the future Westin hotel that's coming to South Elm Street.

Last week, the city bought the old Dixie Building and the parking lot behind it.

Right now, the parking lot only holds about 100 spots. The developers and the city plan to put in a deck that would hold 850 cars.

From there, a sky walkway will connect the deck to the site of the Westin at 203 S. Elm St.

The project will change the landscape of downtown Greensboro and locals hope it will be for the better.

"We could always use more parking. There's always parking problems downtown," said Frank Swanson, who works downtown.

The new parking deck will look different from its neighbor across the street. Greensboro city leaders want to see retail or restaurants on the ground floor, as well as a look that matches the aesthetic of the upscale hotel.

Downtown Greensboro hasn't seen a new hotel in more than 30 years.

"Growth is good anywhere," Swanson said.

Locals hope a hotel right in downtown's center on Elm Street will attract more tourists to the city.

"They walk out the hotel room and 25, 30 steps, they're where they want to be," Swanson added.

Two other hotels are also coming to downtown, an Aloft on Eugene Street and a Hyatt Place that's set to open next year.

Some tourists we talked to say they don't want a hotel boom to become a pattern in downtown Greensboro, saying that's not why they visit here.

"Everywhere, on every corner they're building a hotel, some kind of new place or new restaurant to where it all becomes a problem. There's more traffic and other things like that," said Patrick Marzett, who's visiting from Charleston.

Other people say a new set of hotels will bring an economic boost that's worth the extra traffic.

"Growth means more people, more money, more funds coming, more things to do. So I think it's a positive," Swanson said.

Construction on the Westin is expected to start early next year and it's projected to open in October 2019.

The city hasn't announced when it plans to start building the parking deck.