Get It Right

Greensboro’s City Council will hear staff updates this week regarding the future of the Heritage House site just off of Randleman Road.

The white high-rise sits just north of I-40 and was once a former hotel. But declines in business forced the hotel to close and over the last two decades it’s primarily served as affordable housing.

The city deployed its full resources last summer to condemn, evict and relocate the residents of more than 160 condominium units after an inspection documented deplorable living conditions.

The site sits boarded up for almost a year now as city planners studied options for the property. The planning board declared the area blighted last fall, a designation that opens the way for the city to declare a redevelopment area and to seize the property via eminent domain.

Staff unveiled three scenarios at a public meeting in April, but given the choice between industrial redevelopment and a mix of recreation and industrial, costs seems to be the primary factor.

For the Heritage House fiasco to play itself out in a positive way that brings more prosperity to Greensboro and its residents would be a great win for the city. We would like to see a quick turnaround on the project, no matter what path the Redevelopment Commission and the city council decide to take.

Too many redevelopment sites sit empty or unfinished. We grant that the economy of the last decade has been a tough slog, but as one redevelopment commissioner stated at a recent meeting it is time to declare victory or defeat on many of these projects and cast the remainder to the free market.

The city does not need another vacant lot sitting in the middle of a dense residential and commercial area.

Come out of the gate with a strong plan, free of backroom deals, for the Heritage House and show the rest of us what good is possible in government planning. !

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