Developer updates plans for Union Square Campus in Greensboro

by Jeff Sykes

Artist’s rendering of the Union Square Campus at South Elm and Lee streets in Greensboro.

One of the South Elm Development Group’s partners updatedcity planners on the Union Square Campus’s technical aspects Wednesday,including giving those present a glimpse of architectural drawings.

Bob Isner told members of Greensboro’s RedevelopmentCommission that the drawings will allow developers to begin findingtenants.

“For marketing the site it gives us great credibilitynow,” Isner said. “We don’t see any problems with their design. Thatsure is going to change the landscape of the south side of downtown.”

Commission Chair Dawn Chaney asked Isner if the Union SquareCampus Inc. leaders had taken into account the expressed desire to extendhistoric facades south of Lee Street.

I’m not saying anything negative about this. I likeit, Chaney said, but noted the original design could set the tone forredevelopment as it heads south toward Bragg Street.

Isner told commission members that architect Ken Mayer, ofMoser Mayer Phoenix, and USCI wanted a more modern look.

It’s in the design guidelines, Isner said. Ikind of like for the styles to be mixed up … It makes it look like the cityhas evolved rather than put there.

The initial building shown will be four stories exceeding100,000 total square feet. Isner said floor plans would be released soon andwould include two auditoriums for teaching and two retail spaces. One retailspace at the corner of South Elm and Lee would be ideal for an FedEx/Kinkostype business to cater to the needs of area students and businesses. A second space down South ElmStreet would fit the needs of a restaurant such as Panera Bread, Isner said.

I think that would be a good mix, Isner said. It’s going to be shell space and we can now begin marketing thefacility.

Dyan Arkin, senior planner with the city’s planningdepartment, said the exterior drawing had been approved by the Union Square CampusInc. board and that both USCI and South End Development Group planned a publicmeeting in the near future.