Friday, March 11, 2016

Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 2

On Thursday I posted Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 1 in which I asked,

"Will Mr Carruthers tell us who is administering the project and why a 3rd party is necessary?"

when referring to Wednesday's post,  Tom Carruthers Learns How To E-mail. While I'm waiting to hear back from Mr Carruthers I thought I'd take the time to give you some background on what I've been learning about the South Elm Street Redevelopment Project and Union Square.

I used the Guilford County GIS System to construct this map of the area in question. The property numbered 18 is Union Square, where UNCG, NC A&T and Cone Hospital are currently constructing the new school of nursing. For reference, the street running east to west across the top of the map is Gate City Blvd, formerly Lee Street and the street running north to south between lots #13 and #14 Is South Elm Street.

 Correction, as explained to me by Roch Smith jr:

"UNCG, NC A&T and Cone Hospital are currently constructing the new school of nursing"

That's not right. UNCG and A&T have agreed to lease some classroom space there. They have their own schools of nursing. The word "school" in academic parlance refers to an area o study (school of economics, school of nursing, etc) but, even if referring to buildings, UNCG and A&T have their own buildings that house their nursing schools and UNCG will be building another for nursing should the upcoming state bond pass (which has me wondering what, really, is the need for Union Square). So, the universities are not constructing anything at Union Square and they are not housing nursing programs there. They have promised to have some classes there."

My thanks to Roch.

 Parcels 10,11,12, 13 and 14 along with the 3 unnumbered lots located between 14 and 12 all belong to the Redevelopment Commission of the City of Greensboro. One can only assume that since these properties have not yet been sold there are no plans to build anything there other than the Downtown Greenway as yet. You can verify what I'm telling you by using the Guilford County GIS System for yourself.

The 4 unnumbered lots directly below #13 and #18 are owned by the Redevelopment Commission of Greensboro. The one remaining lot is owned by a company called, Grays On The Greenway, Llc witch according to the NC Secretary of State was formed in July of 2013 by David and Sidney Gray, two very nice Greensboro natives who have been investing in Downtown for many years and constantly getting screwed by the City of Greensboro. Last I heard it was Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman building on one of the Gray's properties without permission or paying rent.

Lot #3 is owned by the City of Greensboro. The building and property just south of lot #3 is owned by Herman and Lorna Heyge and is the home of Musikgartenan early childhood development school that specializes in early music education. The remainder of that block is owned by New Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

Property #9 is owned by QUB Studios. All the properties directly to the east of QUB Studios are privately owned as well.

Now in going over the South Elm Redevelopment Transaction Report I've found a lot of interesting things I'll be looking into in more depth. For example, there were numerous payments to the real-estate company Foster Rich And Company but it's my understanding the City of Greensboro employs full time, fully licensed real-estate brokers of their own.

And then there were the dozens upon dozens of payments to real-estate appraisers like Taylor Pope & Herring Inc,, Messick and Company, McNairy & Associates, Michael Watts MAI SRA, William L Herbert, and several more real estate appraisers... How many times is it necessary to appraise the same few pieces of property?

And then there was the supposed payment of $315,601.22 to The Firm At Fisher Park...

Well it just so happens I know some of the nice folks at The Firm At Fisher Park so I showed them the Transaction Report and quite frankly they said they were shocked to see a figure that large for any of the work they have ever done for the City of Greensboro. They didn't remember any such billings. Of course they've not yet had time to go back through years of bookkeeping but you'd probably remember a payday like that. I mean, they're a law firm but their business is deed and title services. Most of their jobs run closer to $200 Dollars, maybe $300 sometimes, not THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Maybe someone from the City of Greensboro will get in touch before I begin Who Got The South Elm Street Redevelopment Money: Part 3.