When Chapel Hill town and UNC-CH officials gathered last month for the groundbreaking of the new parking deck on East Rosemary Street—part of Chapel Hill’s transformative East Rosemary Redevelopment Project that will see a new parking deck replace two old ones, plus new office buildings with lab space, and $1.3 million in new tax revenues for the town—they called the 1,100-space deck a game changer.

The project, funded with parking fees, will pay for itself, said Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger at the groundbreaking, and it will boost the local economy. “It will put Chapel Hill on the map,” she said. 

Other officials were similarly earnest in their praise.

“This parking deck is going to make a difference,” UNC-CH Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said. 

“This didn’t just happen,” said Dwight Bassett, the town’s director of economic development and parking. “It was part of a broad vision for innovating in Chapel Hill, a broad vision for opportunity with strategic steps for revitalizing the town.”

They caught a gentle ribbing from the cynics on Twitter for their enthusiasm:

But folks, they’re still excited. And they’ve got a new video out telling you why.

As Mayor Hemminger—and Town Council members Amy Ryan, Tai Huynh, and Michael Parker say—”it’s not just about a parking deck!”

It’s about so much more.

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Follow Editor-in-Chief Jane Porter on Twitter or send an email to jporter@indyweek.com.