The Regency Inn was once more the topic of a City Council discussion at the work session last week.

The council appeared to reach a consensus at the work session that the best course of action to take was to wait and see.

After a lot of discussion, Councilmember Tammi Thurm said, “Let’s give them two weeks and see what they have to say. Let’s wait two weeks then we can have this discussion as part of the strategy session, but we’ll have an answer or we won’t have an answer in two weeks. We can speculate about what’s going to happen, whether they are going to close or whether they are not going to close, from now until two weeks from now, but until we have an answer from them, all it is is speculation. I would propose that we make this part of the strategy session after we have an answer.”

This goes along with the old saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until next week,” or in this case the next two weeks.

It is possible that something could happen in the next two weeks, but when you look at the history of this project, it doesn’t seem likely.

In November 2021, following the advice of Director of the Greensboro Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Michelle Kennedy, the City Council approved a no-interest, forgivable loan of $3 million to Partnership Homes Inc. to purchase the Regency Inn. According to Kennedy, the old motel would be rehabbed into permanent supportive housing for the homeless. At the time, concerns were raised by some councilmembers about the lack of identified funding for the rehabilitation.

In October 2022, Kennedy recommended that the city replace Partnership Homes Inc. as its partner in this permanent supportive housing venture with Step Up America, and the city has been pursuing that option.

However, Partnership Homes Inc. still owns the Regency Inn and the transfer of that ownership to Step Up America has hit quite a few bumps in the road.

Councilmember Zack Matheny said the city should just buy the Regency Inn and then decide what to do with it. Matheny noted that Step Up America was named party in a $100 million lawsuit in California.

Matheny said, “We’ve got $3 million invested and it’s been closed more than it has been open. It seems to me the best thing to do, if we want to do something, is don’t even think about rehabbing that property. Let’s just take ownership ourselves and if Step Up wants to build on it that’s fine.”

Kennedy recommended to the City Council that the old motel be demolished and that the 5-acre site be developed with the original 58 units of permament supportive housing and an additional 140 to 150 affordable apartment units.

Matheny noted that he had looked at the contract with Partnership Homes Inc. and there was no claw back provision.

City Attorney Chuck Watts said, “You could get it back. You’d just have to pay some more money.”

So Matheny wants to buy it. Kennedy wants to tear it down and the City Council decided to go with the third option provided by Thurm – “wait and see.”