Looking back, the month of May was a stellar month for Greensboro and Guilford County for economic development.
On Thursday, May 30 the long awaited ground breaking for Slugger, the nine story office building on First National Field property was held.
Slugger is being built by Front Street Capital on the corner of Bellemeade and North Eugene streets. One comment often heard when the building site was announced was “There isn’t enough space for an office building next to the ball park.” But once the statues, park bench, huge baseballs and playground equipment are removed there’s plenty of room for the 110,000 square foot office building. How much work will actually get done in the offices overlooking the baseball field during day games, is another question.
Front Street Capital Managing Partner Robin Team in his remarks thanked Greensboro City Manager David Parrish for putting the project across the finish line. Team also thanked the anchor tenant Tuggle Duggins for putting up with all the delays.
Nathan Duggins thanked their current landlord Lincoln Financial for continuing to extend their lease. He also noted that Lincoln was asking them to move because Lincoln needed the space for more employees which is good news for downtown Greensboro.
It seems fitting the month would end with Slugger, because the month began with Roy Carroll making the announcement of the $140 million Carroll South of the Ballpark mixed use development that will be built on the block just south of Slugger and the two projects are related.
Carroll, who also owns this publication, had already purchased the southwest corner at the Bellemeade and Eugene intersection and to move ahead with Slugger, parking was needed. The City of Greensboro and Carroll tried to reach an agreement on how to build a city parking deck on the corner and allow Carroll to build a mixed use building on top of the deck, but those negotiations fell apart.
The second attempt is what resulted in Carroll South of the Ballpark which will be built around a city parking deck. Without the additional push from Slugger, Carroll and Greensboro could still be negotiating about the corner lot.
But May involved a lot more economic development than in two blocks of North Eugene Street. On May 29, it was officially announced that Centric Brands would be moving 213 jobs to the historic Gateway Building at South Elm Street and Gate City Boulevard. Andy Zimmerman bought the building which needed a lot of work with the idea he could find the right tenant and he did. Centric plans to take all of the third floor and part of the second and there is already some buzz about the total number of jobs being higher than 213.
Also in May Honda Aircraft Company, more commonly known as Honda Jet, announced plans to build a 82,000 square foot building on its 133 acre site at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The new building will house a wing assembly process and is further evidence of Honda’s long term commitment to the area.
And in May Amazon finally admitted that the 1 million square foot facility being built in the portion of Kernersville that’s in Guilford County, will be an Amazon fulfillment center with about 1,000 employees. All the evidence pointed to an Amazon fulfillment center, but having the official announcement does make a difference.
The BB&T and SunTrust merger resulted in good news for Greensboro with the announcement in May that the leadership team for the combined bank’s mortgage business will be in Greensboro. The SunTrust Mortgage leadership team is currently in Richmond, Virginia.
Kontoor Brands officially separated from VF Corporation in May. Kontoor which was the jeans division of VF, will be headquartered in Greensboro while VF is in the process of moving to Denver.
And in High Point the plan to build a 1.3 million square foot, “Oasis Center” biotech campus on Gallimore Dairy Road passed the first round of approval. The biotech center is expected to bring 1,600 jobs to Guilford County.
June had better get busy if it’s going to top May in the economic development department.