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Summertime (building) plans

Summertime (building) plans

It’s got to be the heat. How else to explain our seasonal bouts of lowered resistance to — or outright enthusiasm for — hastily conceived real estate scenarios that are long on ambition and short on details, most of them emanating from the cozy little intersection of private development and public office. Remember the Greensboro Triumph Center? Surely we aren’t the only ones who recall that crazy summer of 2007, when a little-known developer named Isaac Douglas Cain quietly leaked plans of a downtown megaplex through his illustrious mouthpiece, Roy Gibbs, who had just left his job as president of Downtown Greensboro Inc. for the private sector and was working at the time as a paid consultant for the developer. The project, initially estimated at $50- $150 million but which ballooned to $200- $300 million in the span of three months, was to include office space, retail space, about 200 apartments, luxury condos, a four-star hotel and restaurant, “cosmic” bowling, a roller rink and, possibly, an IMAX theater “It’s going to come down to can we assemble land at an equitable price and in a reasonable time period and is there good cooperation,” Gibbs told the Triad Business Journal in August 2007. The project, likened in a YES! Weekly editorial to the plot of The Music Man, disappeared from the public consciousness almost immediately — and from the internet chat boards on Nov. 20, 2007. But for a hot minute there, a lot of people around here were thinking that Disney was coming to town. And then they forgot all about it. Another project floated that summer was the brainchild of a 26-year-old real estate broker who described himself as a Greensboro native living in Charlotte: a luxury high-rise “similar in concept to a Plaza Hotel,” John B. Adcox told the News & Record on Aug. 25, 2007. This caper also involved the former DGI president, and also quickly faded from community dialogue. We mention this because just last week another group expressed interest in building

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