Monday, August 1, 2016

Margaret Moffett's answer to who owns the Civil Rights Museum property

"City attorney: City Council could use museum building as collateral on loan

The city could use the International Civil Rights Center & Museum building as collateral on money owed to local taxpayers, City Attorney Tom Carruthers said Thursday in a letter to museum officials.

...the city expects either cash or collateral for the remaining amount, he wrote.

...“We will, however, recommend to council that it accept an appropriate deed of trust against the museum building to secure our debt in lieu of our rights under our current agreement,” he continued.

...The City Council is poised to discuss the loan balance during a special meeting Monday. Museum officials said earlier this week that they won’t attend, hoping instead to work out these figures with city staffers.

But in his letter Carruthers urged them to reconsider.

“This meeting was specifically set for council to consider these items and discuss them with you,” he wrote...

How can the cash-strapped museum get the money to make those payments?

Carruthers’ letter points to a new solution, one that would give the city financial leverage but possibly ratchet up tensions between the two parties.
Using the old Woolworth’s building at 134 S. Elm St. as collateral.

The building sits in the very heart of downtown — the corner of South Elm Street and February One Place. Its tax value is about $3.8 million, according to the Guilford County Tax Department.

...such a move would put the city at the front of the line for payments if the nonprofit museum’s board were ever to sell the building.

It was unclear Friday how museum officials might receive the suggestion."

Bruce Wiley · The University of North Carolina at Greensboro - UNCG

Margaret, who owns the building? Names of people not corporations. Is the museum being run as a for profit entity? Do Skip and Earl have offices in the building and do they conduct business not related to the ICRM from those offices. Who pays for their cell phones? Are they subject to FOIA requests due to the use of taxpayer provided funds?

Like · Reply · Jul 30, 2016 10:55am
Margaret Moffett · Reporter at Greensboro News & Record

Bruce those are all very, very good questions. Who owns the building? When the museum entered into this complicated tax-credit system, it had to create 4 or 5 new for-profit entities to set up the system. One of those for-profits is called "Museum Landlord." It technically owns the building. It's directors are Earl Jones, Deena Hayes-Greene and Doug Harris.

What is Museum Landlord on the hook for?


Can the owners take rent payments out of what could be a non-profit Museum?

Yes, which Margaret didn't report

Now, at some point in the next few months, when the tax-credit structure expires, the museum will revert back to a nonprofit. I have no idea whether they'll use the old nonprofit structure or create a new one. And that gets me to the answer to all of your other questions: I don't know.

Journalistic negligence

The museum isn't subject to any public records laws. Anything connected to the city (or the county or state) is public record by extension, and I make sure I always get those records. But their own records? No. I can't compel them to make them public. All I can do is explain that transparency is the absolute best answer to every question. I'm just as frustrated as you and other people are by the lack of information. As always, I appreciate your comments and that you continue to ask for answers.

Like · Reply · Jul 30, 2016 3:53pm


Look up the deed Margaret

Ask Len Lucas

Not knowing rigged 2013's Mayoral race

Now you don't want to admit it

From the Comments;

Not that it matters;

Does the Museum’s Landlord stand to earn income from the property under any scenario?

"Possibly, if their museum tour/ticket sales increase."

Thank you,

Public Information Desk
City of Greensboro
300 W. Washington Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
That means now that the City has forgiven some of the loan, Skip Alston and friends stand to financially benefit.
"...Some LLCs are responsible for the museum’s debt, others aren’t.

...Sit-In Movement Inc. is one of the five companies that make up the museum. The other four are Civil Rights Museum LLC, ICRCM LLC, Museum Tenant LLC and Museum Landlord LLC.

...Sit-In Movement Inc. does not own the building. According to Guilford County tax records, the building is owned by Museum Landlord LLC. The North Carolina secretary of state’s office lists former Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston as its manager and agent of this for-profit corporation.

Alston has said the owners of Museum Landlord LLC are Alston, Greensboro attorney and Sit-in Movement LLC board member Doug Harris, retired Vice President of Community Relations for WFMY-TV Shirley Frye, Smith Moore Leatherwood attorney Carole Bruce and former President and current adviser to the Weaver Foundation Skip Moore.

Matheny, however, said that Frye, Bruce and Moore have withdrawn from the LLC, which leaves Alston and Harris.

Alston is also listed as the agent and manager for Museum Tenant LLC and Civil Rights Museum LLC, and the agent for Sit-In Movement LLC and ICRCM LLC.

Of the five LLC’s, only one lists more than one company official. ICRCM LLC lists five managers: Alston, former City Councilmember and state House Rep. Earl Jones, City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson, Robert Brown and Harris. Johnson said she has never been to company meeting.

Sit-in Movement LLC was incorporated in 1993 by Alston and Jones.

...Both Museum Landlord LLC and Museum Tenant LLC are controlled by their managing member, ICRCM LLC.

ICRCM LLC is the managing member and owns 80 percent of Museum Landlord LLC. Another 10 percent of Museum Landlord LLC is owned by Museum Tenant LLC. The remaining 10 percent ownership stake in Museum Landlord LLC is owned by Stonehenge Community Develop LLC, which manages the investments of investors who got new markets tax credits for investing in the museum.

ICRCM LLC is the managing member of Museum Tenant LLC, but only owns 0.01 percent of it. The other 99.99 percent of Museum Tenant LLC is owned by Community Historic Credit Fund LLC, which apparently represents investors who got historic tax credits for investing in the museum.

...Museum Landlord LLC subleases aspects of the museum to Museum Tenant LLC, Civil Rights Museum LLC and Sit-in Movement Inc., which rents the second floor of the building.

The LLCs also owe each other money."

John Hammer