It’s Wednesday, March 13, and the multimillion dollar home at 710 Country Club Dr. is coming down.

Wednesday morning, the side closest to Cleburne Street had already been reduced to rubble by a crew from D.H. Griffin Cos.

Roy Carroll, founder, president and CEO of The Carroll Companies, which owns this publication, recently bought the house for $4.5 million from Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and decided to take it down and build new on the 3-acre lot.

Carroll said, “From the outside it looks great, but once you get inside, it’s all chopped up into small rooms and the ceilings are just too low. It didn’t make economic sense to try and save it.”

He said, “I sympathize with neighbors who frequently drive or walk by the property and have expressed sadness and concern with the demolition. Change, especially unexpected change, can be intimidating. However, it is unlikely that many neighbors had spent enough time in the interior of the main home to fully understand the limitations of room layouts and ceiling heights.”

Carroll said that he made two major attempts to save the house, but after consulting with a number of people familiar with major renovation projects decided, “It was not feasible from the standpoint of functionality to renovate.”  He said, “There are a lot of things you can do, but it’s hard to make walls taller.”

He said, “We’re going to build a house in keeping with the neighborhood that has all the modern conveniences that people expect. Today everybody wants big rooms and tall ceilings and that’s something you couldn’t do with the current structure. It’s not like changing paint color or putting in new heating and air-conditioning.”

Carroll said he was in favor of renovation and saving old buildings when possible, and noted that he was responsible for the biggest renovation project in Greensboro’s history when he took the old Wachovia office building downtown and turned it into a mixed-use building with luxury condominiums, office and retail. Center Pointe also happens to be the building where Carroll lives and works.

Carroll said, “It is our intent at this time to build back, in character with the neighborhood, while preserving as much of the magnificent grounds as possible. The Carrolls have never done anything in Greensboro halfway, and if the neighbors in Irving Park will be patient, I assure them that we will build back better and grander.”

Carroll said that he didn’t have a definite set of plans for the new house, but one of the goals would be to preserve as many of the old trees as possible and keep the park-like feel of the property. He also noted that there were five buildings on the 3-acre property and he was only tearing down one.

While a number of Realtors and others have been vocal about their opposition to the demolition of the historic property, not everyone in the industry agrees.

Michelle Porter, broker/Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Homesevices Yost & Little Realty, said she understood the decision. Porter said, “It is always sad to see beautiful structures that have timeless and unreproducible craftsmanship and history be torn down. But with functional obsolescence and improvement in technology and materials, it sometimes makes more sense economically for improved quality of life and changing lifestyles to tear a structure down.

“While change is hard, our community should be grateful someone is investing in the area and at the magnitude Roy is. Whatever he does will undoubtedly be a large financial investment that will continue to improve the area. It is common to see old areas get revitalized so the communities can be preserved and sustained for generations to come.

“This has happened substantially in areas places like Raleigh, Charlotte and Greenville, SC, and the success of those areas is undisputable.”