Some rumors turn out to be true – like the one that Roy Carroll, the owner of the Carroll Companies, was going to announce a $140 million mixed-use project in downtown Greensboro.
And on Wednesday, May 1, at the Downtown Greensboro Inc. luncheon at the new Hyatt Place, Carroll revealed the plans for his next downtown development, temporarily named Carroll South of the Ballpark, which is a $140 million retail, office, hotel and residential project.
When completed it will be the largest public or private project ever built in downtown Greensboro.
Carroll said one of the worst kept secrets in Greensboro was that he had plans to build an Aloft Hotel on the corner of Bellemeade and North Eugene streets, catty corner from the Hyatt Place, which is at the center of the Carroll Bellemeade project. He said it would be a nine-story hotel with a rooftop bar and lounge that he was really excited about. He said from there people should be able to see Pilot Mountain and the Sauraton Mountains and maybe on a clear day as far as the Blue Ridge Mountains.
He also said that he was not at all concerned about there being too many hotels in downtown Greensboro because he believed in synergy and bringing more people downtown would benefit everyone.
Carroll credited City Manager David Parrish with coming up with the idea that led to the project. The earlier plan was for Carroll to build a hotel and mixed-use building on top of a city parking deck on the corner of Bellemeade and Eugene. But as Carroll explained the timing for that project just didn’t work.
Carroll South of the Ballpark has the city parking deck in the middle of the lot and the Carroll developments on the street frontage on Bellemeade, Eugene and Friendly Avenue.
Carroll said that the mixed-use tower would be at least 20 stories. He said he didn’t have any announcements at this time about tenants other than the Carroll Companies, which has run out of space in Carroll’s first major downtown project, Center Pointe.
Carroll said that one of his disappointments in Carroll Bellemeade was that because the site was “parking poor,” all the ground floor had to used for parking and that type of development created dead space at street level. He said that he is working with the city to have some retail kiosks on that block, but in his new development the city parking deck would allow him to have restaurants and retail, and meeting space on the ground floors, which would help create the type of synergy that a downtown needs.
He also said he had a great location for a grocery store and was willing to make the effort to bring a grocery store to the downtown.
Carroll spoke several times about reaching the “tipping point” in downtown Greensboro, where developers from all over are attracted by the opportunity. He noted that Greenville, South Carolina, and Durham had reached that point with their downtowns and Greensboro was getting close.
Carroll said that since the city parking deck is going to be in the middle of Carroll South of the Ballpark, the construction of parking deck would have to be nearly completed before he could start construction. Also, Guilford County has a two-year lease on the mental health building on the corner of Friendly Avenue and Eugene Street, so that will have to run out before the building can be demolished. If there was any doubt, Carroll proved his Greensboro roots by calling it the old Sears and Roebuck building.
Carroll said that he hoped to start construction on Carroll South of the Ballpark in the fall of 2020 and he added that he’s already thinking about his next downtown Greensboro project.
After Carroll’s announcement, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “It’s very exciting and I can’t wait until he breaks ground. It’s great that the footprint of downtown is expanding and Roy continues to reaffirm his commitment to Greensboro.”
She said, “It took us a long time to get here, but I think we’ve got a really good product.”
Downtown Greensboro Inc. President Zack Matheny noted that when this project is completed Carroll would have over $300 million invested in the downtown.
Below are some more renderings of the project.