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cityboi

War Memorial Auditorium renovation or a new downtown concert hall

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Greensboro City-Council just approved a $200 million plus bond package to put on the November ballot for Greenboro voters. The bond includes a $50 million renovation of the War Memorial Auditorium at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The auditorium is used for orchestra, broadway and comedy productions as well as other musical concerts. The auditorium seats over 2,000 but the building is outdated with its 1950s look in some areas The apint is even peeling off the ceiling. Seveeral years ago Action Greensboro rolled out a plan that would have included a $40 million concert hall in downtown Greensboro. An office tower would have been a part of the project. (rendering below). The project was supposed to be in Action Greensboro's phase 3 plan.

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However, Action Greensboro has been waiting the sidelines because of another proposal to renovate the War Memorial Auditorium at the coliseum. If it is renovated, there would be no need for a downtown concert hall. The auditorium renovation would include upgrading the exterior to match the rest of the coliseum and adding two more balconies which woul raise the height of the building. There are also a number of other upgrades. Here are renderings of the Auditorium renovations.

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This is what the renovation is being modeled after.

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Here are the pros and cons with both plans.

PROS:

- renovation: Would attract more events to the coliseum so it will stay competitive and profitable for the city

- downtown concert hall: Would be an excellent piece of the puzzle for Greensboro's cultural district in downtown Greensboro and would be privately funded.

CONS:

- renovation: would cost the city taxpayer millions

- downtown concert hall: would take businesss away from the city owned coliseum increasing coliseum operational debt.

Which one would you choose, Auditorium renovation or downtown concert hall? If the bond fails in November Action Greensboro could end up proceding with its brand new downtown facility

BTW the bond also includes a $15 million regional swim center with stadium seating. This could either be built at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex or downtown. The center would incle a 50-meter pool, diving well and warm up pool.

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I think renovating War Memorial is the only realistic way to have a modern arena again. At least within the next 10 years. I think having a modern auditorium downtown would be awesome but I think it would be very, very expensive--much, much more expensive than the baseball stadium. Because of this I do not see private money ever coming in for it. So if you are going to have to use public money I think remodeling War Memorial is the most fiscally responsible.

I would like to see an aquatics center built downtown--perhaps as part of the South Elm St. redevelopment.

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I'm in favor of renovating War Memorial. A downtown concert hall would be nice, but War Memorial is already supplied by plenty of parking and a familiar location. It makes a lot of sense where it is.

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I don't think that every venue needs to be clustered around the coliseum; that's one thing that detracts from downtown as a destination. Since the downtown concert hall would be privately funded, I say go with that option. It would serve as a cultural anchor for downtown and could potentially breath life into another part of downtown.

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I have mixed feelings about it and I dont really know what is best. On one hand a privately built facilty downtown would save the tax payers millions up front and it would add on to the continued success for downtown Greensboro attracting more people downtown and attract more downtown development. It would also serve as the anchor for the cultural district of downtown and jumpstart development along Church Street. On the other hand I do know the coliseum is in the red every year and a downtown concert hall would mean fewer events at the coliseum and in the long run it will cost taxpayers even more money. Now if the city sold the coliseum to a private owner, that would be a different story because there would be no loss to the taxpayers. Its really hard but some of you may be surprised that im slightly leaning towards renovation. I love downtown but I dont want to see the coliseum complex lose its competitive edge to other cities because we need to keep the ACC tournament in Greensboro. Greensboro has a very large arena complex for a city its size. In fact it has the nation's largest arena without a major league sports tenant and thats one reason why the coliseum is in the red every year. But even though im leaning towards renovation, im still really up in the air on this.

One other solution for a downtown performing arts center/concert hall could be upgrading the Carolina Theater for the Greensboro Symphony, broadway productions and other shows thats normally held at the War Memorial Auditorium.

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0920carmine2031.jpg

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I have mixed feelings about it and I dont really know what is best. On one hand a privately built facilty downtown would save the tax payers millions up front and it would add on to the continued success for downtown Greensboro attracting more people downtown and attract more downtown development. It would also serve as the anchor for the cultural district of downtown and jumpstart development along Church Street. On the other hand I do know the coliseum is in the red every year and a downtown concert hall would mean fewer events at the coliseum and in the long run it will cost taxpayers even more money. Now if the city sold the coliseum to a private owner, that would be a different story because there would be no loss to the taxpayers. Its really hard but some of you may be surprised that im slightly leaning towards renovation. I love downtown but I dont want to see the coliseum complex lose its competitive edge to other cities because we need to keep the ACC tournament in Greensboro. Greensboro has a very large arena complex for a city its size. In fact it has the nation's largest arena without a major league sports tenant and thats one reason why the coliseum is in the red every year. But even though im leaning towards renovation, im still really up in the air on this.

One other solution for a downtown performing arts center/concert hall could be upgrading the Carolina Theater for the Greensboro Symphony, broadway productions and other shows thats normally held at the War Memorial Auditorium.

60cdf823-6e4f-4abb-b4b1-3dfa493034b4.jpg

0920carmine2031.jpg

554011058_f5e439bbac.jpg

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I was very happy to see your blog. It looks great and I expect to go to it regularly. I also left a comment there. GSO's southside development is one of the most impressive I have seen anywhere, and I get around! (Check out my pics at www.picasaweb.google.web/miklospogonyi

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The renovations for the War Memorial Auditorium seem like a marked improvement. The renovation is also the best plan, I think, given the situation as downtown Greensboro already does have a few nice performance venues (Carolina Theater, Triad Stage) so I don't see how one more performance venue downtown would dramtically increase the viability of downtown Greensboro. Besides the Coliseum area has the potential to be Greensboro's big entertainment distirct and coupled with the traffic from the occassional ACC tournament it is easy to see this area becoming the next major node for urban development in Greensboro.

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Late to the party but I think what Greensboro needs is someone who can run such a facility effectively. We have places like the Carolina Theater and War Memorial but they are all underutilized. I certainly don't think taxpayer money should be spent on a facility that so under serves the citizens. If a private investor opens something downtown I hope it does more than places like the Carolina Theater and N Club are doing. We have a lot of bars downtown and not much else for downtown entertainment.

Triad Stage is about the only facility in town that constantly delivers.

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seems like someplace downtown might be a better fit....that area around the coliseum needs some serious fixing before I would take my family down there

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Agreed, I'm not sure I would like to see taxpayers dollars invested in War Memorial Auditorium, unless there is a promise to clean up that area. Depending on which acts it would attract, it would possibly be competing with the smaller venues in downtown. Imagine if downtown could boast of having a facility like that! Does Greensboro have its own ballet or opera?

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Agreed, I'm not sure I would like to see taxpayers dollars invested in War Memorial Auditorium, unless there is a promise to clean up that area. Depending on which acts it would attract, it would possibly be competing with the smaller venues in downtown. Imagine if downtown could boast of having a facility like that! Does Greensboro have its own ballet or opera?

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