RALEIGH, N.C. — The further down crews dig on the site of a new downtown parking garage, the more the price goes up.
The City Council approved spending another $4.4 million on the underground garage, which will be located next to the new Raleigh convention center. That pushes the cost to build the 906-space deck to more than $42 million -- or about $45,500 per space.
"(More than) $45,000 per parking spot is an exorbitant amount," Councilwoman Jessie Taliaferro said, questioning the spiraling cost of the deck.
The current price tag is 50 percent more than previous projections.
"That's a lot of money focused on one project downtown," Taliaferro said.
City Manager Russell Allen said architectural changes to appease the owners of adjacent properties are the reason for the extra cost.
The property owners believe the construction of the deck could damage the foundations of their office towers and a second parking garage. They said the deck cannot be built safely without the additional work and money.
"The largest part of this is unforeseen conditions with our neighbors to the north," Allen said.
He said the extra money could come from the city's parking fund.
Taliaferro and other council members said they worry the price tag could continue to grow, forcing them to find other sources of revenue, like adding more parking meters downtown. They want money from the county's hotel and restaurant tax to help fund the project.
Councilman Thomas Crowder said he believes the money spent on the parking garage will be a solid investment for the city.
"This deck is proving a one-time opportunity with all the redevelopment here and actually allows for a higher tax base in the city without taking up any surface land," Crowder said.