Two major downtown Greensboro development events in two days is a good way to start the summer.

Wednesday, May 29 the official announcement was made that Centric Brands was bringing 213 jobs to the Gateway Building at the corner of South Elm and Gate City Boulevard.

Thursday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m. is the ground breaking for Slugger, a nine story office building being built right next to First National Bank Field the home of the Grasshoppers and across the street from Hyatt Place hotel in the Carroll Bellemeade development on the corner of North Eugene and Bellemeade streets.

About a hundred people gathered on the third floor of the Gateway Building on Wednesday for the official announcement that Centric Brands would be the anchor tenant of the historic 110,000 square foot building, the latest project of Andy Zimmerman who has been instrumental in transforming that part of downtown Greensboro.

Not only is it 213 jobs, but the average wage is estimated to be about $54,000.  Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “This is the type of jobs people have been asking about.”

Zimmerman said he had been working with Centric for a year and was glad to finally have a tenant.  Zimmerman got some help from the City of Greensboro when in March it voted to award Centric $426,000 in economic incentives.

Zimmerman noted that there was also $500,000 available from the state because of the historic nature of the property.

Zimmerman said that the building was built in 1919 for the Hudson Hill Overall Co. and added that Centric had a Hudson brand of clothing making it a homecoming of sorts for the company.

Downtown Greensboro Inc. President Zack Matheny said that Zimmerman had bought the historic building that needed a lot of work without having an anchor tenant because of his commitment to the downtown and the belief he could make it work.

Centric is an apparel and accessory company headquartered in New York with over 4,000 employees.

Slugger was announced two years ago and in order to make the project work the City of Greensboro announced it would build a parking deck across the street on land owned by Roy Carroll who also owns this publication.  The original plan was for Carroll to build a mixed use tower that likely would have included a hotel on top of the city parking deck, but negotiations for that project broke down in April 2018 and the city announced it would build the parking deck somewhere else in the vicinity.

Then Carroll and the city got back together and the result is the recently announced $140 million Carroll South of the Ballpark mixed use development with a city parking deck built in the middle of the block bounded by Bellemeade, Eugene, Friendly Avenue and Edgeworth Street.

Slugger couldn’t move forward until parking was assured, so a lot of pieces had to fall in place before this groundbreaking could be held.  The Slugger will be a nine story office building with the law firm Tuggle Duggins as the anchor tenant.  A restaurant is planned for the first floor and a new entrance to the ballpark will be built in conjunction with the building.