white noise

by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble

Hotel controversy: You can check out, but you can never leave

Three months ago, a host of Greensboro media outlets, including this publication, The Business Journal, the News & Record and the local blogosphere, were buzzing with controversy over a proposed downtown luxury hotel and its use of locally approved federal Recovery Zone Facility Bonds. Guilford County Commission Chairman Skip Alston, the real estate broker in the deal, conveyed a threat to members of Greensboro City Council that a nasty racially tinged protest could ensue if scrutiny of the project didn’t cease. Two rival hoteliers filed suit, objecting that the county commission and city council hadn’t properly vetted the project. And what has come of all the hand-wringing, hyperventilating and watch-dogging? Following on a report in The Business Journal, the News & Record’s Joe Killian quotes bond counsel Mary Nash Rusher as saying the Urban Hotel Group has not communicated with the county bond commission since a tense meeting in January in which the commission asked the hotel group for more information about its financing plan. Rusher told Killian the hotel group needs an inducement resolution from the bond commission and a financial feasibility letter from an institution willing to back the bonds to pay for the hotel development before the project can advance to the Local Government Commission in Raleigh for consideration. — JG