The future of the old Regency Inn will be a major topic of discussion at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 Greensboro City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber.
However, you can read the agenda backwards and forwards, inside out and upside down and you won’t find Regency Inn or the city’s potential new partner Step Up on Second Street Inc. mentioned.
The first City Council meeting of the month is primarily devoted to a public forum, also known as speakers from the floor on non-agenda items, so the discussion on the future of the Regency Inn and partnering with Step Up would be the most important and most controversial item on the agenda, if it were on the agenda, but it isn’t.
City Councilmember Zack Matheny also found it odd that a discussion with Step Up on the future of the Regency Inn property as a permanent supportive housing facility was not on the agenda and sent an email to Mayor Nancy Vaughan and city staff asking about it.
City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba responded, “They will present under the City Manager’s Report – after the Ceremonials.”
So, this is a good example of the way “transparency” works with the City Council and city manager. The most important item to be discussed at the meeting is hidden from public view and, evidently, from the view of city councilmembers who are not part of the inner circle.
However, considering the huge mess the whole Regency Inn project has become, it makes sense to keep the details hidden from the public.
While the City Council will reportedly hear a presentation from Step Up on the Regency Inn and the participation by the City of Greensboro in turning the Regency Inn into a permanent supportive housing facility for the homeless, neither Step Up nor the City of Greensboro owns the property.
In 2021, the City Council approved a loan of $3 million to Partnership Homes Inc. to buy the Regency Inn with the plan to use it as an emergency winter shelter and then renovate the old motel into a permanent supportive housing facility.
For some reason that has never been explained, the Greensboro Housing and Neighborhood Development Department decided to drop Partnership Homes and use Step Up to renovate the Regency Inn and then operate the permanent supportive housing facility.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 6, the old Regency Inn property is owned by Partnership Homes and no date has been set for the closing.
It’s difficult to understand why any discussion of the future of the Regency Inn would not include the owner of the property, but that reportedly is the intention of the City Council.