The planned condemnation by Greensboro of property owned by The Carroll Companies on North Eugene Street at the Tuesday, July 13 City Council meeting is about time, not money.
Or perhaps timing is a more accurate term.
Roy Carroll, owner and CEO of The Carroll Companies, in an email said, “This is a complete surprise to our team. The city staff’s summary on the Council’s consent agenda is completely misleading. We have been in talks with the GDOT [Greensboro Department of Transportation] staff for years on this project. Never once have we said we wanted a dime for easements, etc.”
The issue according to Carroll has nothing to do with money, but is all about the timing of the project, which if the city goes forward with the streetscape will interfere with the planned development of Carroll South of the Ball Park (CSoBP).
Carroll said, “The Carroll Companies completely supports all downtown street projects and have been constantly asking why it has taken city staff years to deploy the bond funds.”
In 2016, the voters of Greensboro approved $25 million in funding for “Downtown Streetscapes and Enhancement,” and earlier this year, according to a city report, only $2.8 million of that money had been spent.
Carroll said, “We just ask for the project to give the $100 million plus Carroll project the same courtesy as the $19 million Project Slugger. No more, no less. We are developing plans to start CSoBP around the end of this year. There is a real chance that the city’s insistence, after years of delays, that the portion of Bellemeade between the ballpark and the garage start at year’s end will delay the AC hotel construction and cause us to lose our AC franchise.”
The Carroll development of the block on North Eugene and across Bellemeade Street from First National Bank Field has been in the works for years. When former City Manager David Parrish was interim city manager in 2018, he came up with a complicated real estate transaction involving the City of Greensboro, Guilford County and The Carroll Companies to move the project forward. The plan Parrish promoted included building the city parking deck to the interior of the block. The city parking deck officially opened for business in June.
Carroll said, “It is an irresponsible use of taxpayer’s money for the city to start this project now, delaying our downtown investment. Also, most of the city’s improvements between us and the ballpark will need to be removed or torn out to allow us the access needed to construct our $100 million plus project that will be the largest project in terms of dollars in the city’s history.”
Finally Carroll said, “This is another example of the issues in the city’s transportation and engineering departments. Hopefully, Council will hire a city manager and get these departments in line to help promote a more prosperous Greensboro.”