The word on the street is that the agreement signed in April between Rocky Scarfone, owner of the Cone Denim Entertainment Center and the N Club, and the City of Greensboro that allowed the construction of the parking deck and Westin Hotel project to move forward may be falling apart.
After the city bought the parking lot behind Cone Denim Entertainment Center and announced it intended to build a six-story parking deck on the site with a 10-story Westin Hotel to be built over a portion of the city owned parking deck, it was discovered that Scarfone owned two easements across the parking lot from the street to the back of Cone Denim.
Scarfone and the city were unable to reach an agreement on selling the easements to the city, so the City Council voted to condemn the easement in December 2017. In January 2018, Scarfone sued the city and went to court in requesting a temporary restraining order (TRO).
The city had agreed not to start construction until the court made a decision on granting the TRO. Superior Court Judge Andy Cromer never made a decision on whether to grant the TRO or not, so construction was held up as if there was a TRO in place, but there wasn’t.
In April the city and Scarfone reached an agreement where the city paid Scarfone $735,000, gave him an easement from East Market Street to the back of Cone Denim and agreed to deed about 345 square feet of land adjacent to Cone Denim to Scarfone so he could build a three-story “green room” on the back of Cone Denim.
Now the city is reportedly reneging on the three-story green room and has reportedly told Scarfone that because he doesn’t have enough land to accommodate the required staircase that Scarfone can only build a one-story green room.
The signed agreement between Scarfone and the City of Greensboro states, “N Club may construct an additional structure on the property described in Exhibit A to this Agreement (up to three stories in height) to provide additional ‘back of house’ staging and access for the operations of N Club or its tenant (the ‘Green Room/Dressing Room’). All plans must be properly permitted, and construction must comply with requirements of applicable law. The City shall help facilitate prompt review of applications for and shall facilitate the prompt approval of building permits for the Green Room/Dressing Room.”
The city deeded the land to Scarfone for the purpose of building a three-story green room and now the city is reportedly saying that Scarfone doesn’t have enough land for a three-story dressing room.
The question for the court to decide, if it ever goes to court, is whose fault is that. at the time of the agreement, the city, which issues building permits, indicated that it was deeding Scarfone enough land for a three-story dressing room and now the city is stating that it did not.
Although the agreement has been signed by both parties, some of the documentation regarding the easements and the green room have not.
It is not known at this time if Scarfone plans to take the city back to court, but considering what happened the last time Scarfone sued the city, you would expect the city, or at least the City Council, to be a little gun shy.
It is also unknown at this point if another lawsuit from Scarfone would hold up the construction of the parking deck and hotel project.