County Parking Decks Opening and Closing

We are getting closer and closer to another day of destruction. Fencing is going up around the parking deck behind the Garland Jones building which is the future site of the new justice center. The new county deck a block down McDowell will open soon and replace the older one.

For what it is, the new county deck is pretty nice. On the ground floor, there is an indoor lobby with city info, mostly maps, of places around downtown. There are also pay stations to make things more convenient.

I had to take a long look at the map that was put up inside the lobby. Here are some things I noticed.

– The new justice center and Clarence E Lightner Safety Center are listed as ‘future’ projects.
– The amphitheatre across from the convention center is listed as ‘planned’.
Green Square is not on the map.

Interpret it as you will but I’m sure this doesn’t mean much really. I just thought it is a little interesting the things they put on these maps when it comes to ‘future’ or ‘planned’ projects.

Justice Center Expansion, $200+ Million and a Historic Raleigh Cost

The needs of the county are growing and Wake must provide proper justice services to all of us. To do this, Wake is expanding the current Public Safety Center with this new $214 million project pictured above. Here is the site in Google maps:

View Larger Map

The ugly parking deck, the Garland Jones building, and the Lawyers Building are all coming down for the expansion of the current site right next door. You may recognize these two buildings shown below.

The N&O has an article with more information. Here are some highlights:

Dubbed the Wake County Justice Center, the 11-story building will house criminal courtrooms as well as a number of county offices, including the Board of Commissioners’ meeting room, the county manager’s offices, the Register of Deeds and the Revenue Department. The current county courthouse will become the home for civil legal matters.

WHEN IT’LL BE DONE: Demolition is slated to begin by the end of this year, and the building is slated to be in use by 2013, according to a timeline of the project.

Wake County also has some information on their website, with more renderings of the building here.

I went out and got this picture yesterday. This is the current view from Nash square.

Before. Current justice center is tower in the back right

In 5 years, we’ll have this.

After. Replaces the deck and connects to current justice center

It is nothing too exciting. I guess this is one place I hope I never have to go inside? The building is a service to our county so if we do need this then I have no problem with expanded government services. The building is seeking a LEED certification, so I’m happy that there will be environmentally friendly elements to this new structure. The current parking deck being built on the site of The L will be used for employees commuting to work here. That means a rise in downtown workers and hopefully a rise in restaurants, shops, and living options in and near downtown for this increasing workforce.