South Elm Progress
Word that a potential developer is interested in bringing a mixed-use project to Union Square at South Elm must have been sweet music to the ears of project managers and elected officials alike.
With the South Elm redevelopment a year and a half into its marketing phase, some city officials had begun to express concern about feet dragging on the part of the project’s master developer, South Elm Development Group.
But that was during the struggle around the New Year to secure a deal with the first component developer, Union Square Campus Inc., which wanted an acre of land for free in order to help offset construction costs for the forthcoming nurse training facility.
SEDG partners said several times that it was difficult to discuss with potential developers site specifics until the USCI deal was in place. Now, less than six months after that deal was secured, the second component project seems viable.
Weaver-Kirkland Development expressed interest in the site earlier this spring, and signed a letter of intent spelling out the parameters under which they could move forward to build about 250 apartments on the southwest parcel of the 10-acre site.
It seems like a good deal, especially with SEDG having secured a no-cost land deal similar to USCI that allows them to sell the land at a discount to Weaver-Kirkland.
The larger South Elm redevelopment is like a lynchpin in a comprehensive plan to remake the Gate City Boulevard corridor into something Greensboro can be proud of. With the Gateway University Research Park to the east and UNCG’s expansion to the west, the South Elm site sits like a giant wasteland in the middle.
Greensboro needs a good development project at the site, which sits just south of downtown. With the nursing campus going up and a possible deal to bring apartments and commercial space to the site, city staff and project manag- ers seem poised to bring the project to a successful result. !
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