In the lengthy discussions about the development of the Regency Inn property, one principal entity has been left out, Partnership Homes Inc., the owner of the property.

In 2021, the Greensboro City Council agreed to a no-interest forgivable loan of $3 million to Partnership Homes to purchase the Regency Inn and make the repairs necessary for it to be used as a winter shelter for the homeless until it could be renovated into permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

In November 2021, Partnership Homes purchased the property and it was used as a winter shelter for the homeless.

In May 2023, the City Council passed a resolution to enter into a contract with Step Up on Second to renovate the Regency Inn and operate a permanent supportive housing facility.

As City Councilmembers Zack Matheny and Sharon Hightower noted repeatedly at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 City Council meeting, the city does not own the Regency Inn and neither does Step Up.

An email from the president of Partnership Homes, Mike Cooke, on Feb. 8, in answer to a question from a city councilmember, states, “We do not have a current contract with Step Up or Slate or any of their affiliates. Step Up was never willing to sign a Purchase contract. We did execute a non-binding Letter of Intent with Slate sometime in late 2023 which has expired.”

So, while representatives of Step Up on Second Street and Slate Property Group gave a presentation to the City Council on Feb. 6 about their current plans to develop the property, they not only don’t own the property they don’t even have a contract to purchase the property.

Cooke also states, “Step Up never intended to close until they got the HUD vouchers approved which were approved in Dec. 2023. During 2023 they sat on their hands giving everybody some manufactured reason they couldn’t close. This is why they made such a big deal about so call unknown problems with the property. In fact they had all of our due diligence work sent to them a year ago outlining everything that needed to be done during the renovation of the project. They needed an excuse for making everyone wait. If they had told the Council the truth in early 2023 that they didn’t plan to close until HUD approved the vouchers, you all may not have given them the deal.”

Cooke estimates it could be another 18 months before Step Up gets the necessary funding required for the additional apartments the current plan calls for building on the site.

He also notes that the current cost of renovating the Regency Inn is between $70,000 and $100,000 a unit and in 2021 the Partnership Homes estimate was $90,000 a unit.