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cityboi

proposed downtown Greensboro performing arts center

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Great news for Greensboro!  Really hope to see you guys build a Downtown PAC.  

 

That leads about $13 million to be raised from Private Sources - which is certainly achievable.   Is there a timetable for when the commitments (for the remaining amount) are to be made.

 

Also if they are unable to raise the full $20m, plus find the other $20m (which I believe is being sought in Federal and State grants) is there a plan B (e.g. still build the Downtown PAC but smaller than a 3,000 seat venue? or without the plaza part of the plan)?

Edited by Urbanity

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I'm not sure if there is a set timetable for the donations but I think I recall PAC backers saying they wanted to start construction around 2015 or 2016. I'm sure city leaders are working on a plan B. The original plan for a downtown PAC in 2003 called for a $40 million facility. Today its up to $60 million total and it looks like they want the 3,000 seats so it can be competitive with other PACs such as DPAC in Durham. In addition to donations, the city will tap into its share of Guilford County hotel/motel tax and user fees will help pay for its construction. Money for the GPAC plaza park is being donated so that part would be paid for. Personally I would have wanted to see a developer step forward and build this as part of a mixed-used entertainment development.

Edited by cityboi

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I oppose the performing arts center for the following reasons:

1. billyjones is correct in that the venue is not properly located because East Greensboro needs it more than an already saturated downtown. A News 2 story last year showed this disparity--every entertainment venue was either centrally located or in the western part of town.

2. The city's failure of leadership with the War Memorial Auditorium still needs to be addressed.

3. City boosters and leaders are exhibiting their biggest bout of Triangle envy with DPAC's success--and it's really tiring.

 

 

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Greensboro foundation pledges $5 million towards the performing arts center. As all these donations continue to rack up, this project becomes more and more real. So far $12.5 million in private donations have publicly been announced. The city also approved $20 million towards the project. That money will come from ticket user fees, parking fees and Greensboro's share of the Guilford County hotel/motel tax. Greensboro can't use the city hotel/motel tax because that is the funding mechanism for projects at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Greensboro's foundations have always been generous with downtown projects. The Joseph M Bryan Foundation privately funded NewBridge Bank Ballpark and foundation money went towards Center-City Park and the Downtown Greenway. Greensboro is blessed because not many cities Greensboro's size have foundations with such deep pockets.

 

http://www.news-record.com/news/article_f696d23c-fa1b-11e2-92ef-001a4bcf6878.html

Edited by cityboi

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This donation seems fraught with unanswered questions. Namely how a foundation with around $600,000 in total assets can make a pledge of $5 million. Unless the $5 million can be released within a relatively short timeframe, namely to be applied to paying for the thing, it would not appear to be much good. Per usual, the News & Record does no independent analysis, (AKA, Reporting) to vet this stuff, but rather just performs the function of a publisher of press release. Secondly, some people have said that its articles of incorporation preclude it from funding organizations like GPAC because they are not deemed a charity, but rather a facility that will be owned by the City of Greensboro. Mr. Hartzman may strike some as a gadfly, but he certainly appears to be very adept at uncovering multitudes of extremely inconvenient truths on this subject as well as other civic topics in Greensboro.

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2013/08/gpac-toleo-foundation-donation-questions.html

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2013/08/another-bogus-donation-to-gpac.html

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This donation seems fraught with unanswered questions. Namely how a foundation with around $600,000 in total assets can make a pledge of $5 million. Unless the $5 million can be released within a relatively short timeframe, namely to be applied to paying for the thing, it would not appear to be much good. Per usual, the News & Record does no independent analysis, (AKA, Reporting) to vet this stuff, but rather just performs the function of a publisher of press release. Secondly, some people have said that its articles of incorporation preclude it from funding organizations like GPAC because they are not deemed a charity, but rather a facility that will be owned by the City of Greensboro. Mr. Hartzman may strike some as a gadfly, but he certainly appears to be very adept at uncovering multitudes of extremely inconvenient truths on this subject as well as other civic topics in Greensboro.

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2013/08/gpac-toleo-foundation-donation-questions.html

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2013/08/another-bogus-donation-to-gpac.html

 

The donations will be given over time. The foundation isn't going to give $5 million up front.

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Well, no kidding...That's how the vast majority of donations for these type of projects are dispersed. The point of this particular matter is that using a conservative 10% return on the  total assets of the foundation, it would take 83 years to payout the $5 million dollar pledge. One can assume that GPAC would end up looking like War Memorial Auditorium by that time. I would be suspect of the probability of this outfit coming through with what they have pledged should be met with a healthy dose of skepticism. The other major pledgers seem to have the track record & wherewithal  to come through with their commitments. I mean the Bryan Foundation which is one of the most flush foundations in town is only ponying up what maybe a million. There is a lot of questions coming up from various Greensboro citizens wanting some kind of enforceable validation that the entities that are "pledging" money toward the GPAC will in fact be contractually bound to come up with the money to fulfill their promise. There's a good number of people who are wondering whether this project will end up like the Civil Rights Museum that once it gets built will be coming back to the City to beg for money to pull them out of major deficient spending, by having a business plan that is not based on any kind of economic reality. To think that traveling shows will bypass Durham for Greensboro on their way to Charlotte is asinine. The two predominant affluent metro areas in NC are the Triangle & Charlotte. To think that those shows will choose a city that requires the majority of their core audience to drive over an hour from both directions is laughable.

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While conern over the funding for the PAC is very much a real issue, arguing the city shouldn't even try to build a replacement for the WMA because there are other cities neaby is absolutely beyond the absurd. Secondly, your argument that events will bypass Greensboro completly has already been proven utterly false, since the coliseum regularly gets large regional, and even national events. But I guess it could become the new motto for the city of Greensboro. - Greensboro: Why even try?

 

And let's not bring the whole "The coliseum doesn't turn a yearly profit!" BS that the rhinotimes crowd used to bring up to somehow suggest the coliseum wasn't successful or worth investing money in since that ignores all the various benefits and tax revenues generated indirectly that easily make up for its fairly small operating deficit.

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DCB despite what A FEW Winston-Salem naysayers are saying, the project has taken a major turn.

 

The city of Greensboro is shifting its focus from the former YWCA site to a much larger site bound by North Elm St, Summit Ave and Lindsay St. The city plans to buy most of the parcels to assemble enough property for the performing arts center, premium parking and future private development.  A live music jazz/blues restaurant (Boston's House of Blues & Jazz) sits within that block and would likely remain. The premium parking will contribute over $10 million towards the project closing the cost gap. The city has already approved $20 million from user fees and it looks like private donations could exceed $20 million. That adds up to $50 million. The city's portion of the county hotel/motel tax could fund the last $10 million or less for the $60 million center. Folks the funding is ALMOST in place. Because a new site is being selected, obviously the latest design will change. But one city council person said the foot print of the site is large enough for a major corporate headquarters. I personally think it should be VF Corp. The Wrangler Jeans division of VF Corp is already headquartered across the street from the PAC site. VF Corp could move from its north Greensboro location and build a corporate tower between 10 to 15 stories next to the PAC. VF Corp is really the only headquarters outside of downtown (not including Volvo Trucks), that would need enough space for a tower in that height range. Action Greensboro's original PAC plan placed the facility on that site and it included an attached office tower around 18 stories.

 

Lets not forget that Summit Ave, bordering the site will be closed or relocated for a privately funded park/PAC plaza which could have some sort of an indoor venue.

 

click below for news link

http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/article_07b40c52-ffc5-11e2-9b9d-0019bb30f31a.html

Edited by cityboi

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Well, I have no intention of starting or getting involved in a petty city vs. city argument. I find it strange that the city is now looking at the North Elm. site again after passing it by for the YWCA site almost a year ago. It makes me wonder if there are concerns about the size of the YWCA lot and if it will prevent any future expansion of the facility once it's built.  Frankly, I always thought the Elm site was far better and was somewhat disappointed when it was ruled out, so I'm actually in favor of moving the project there if the extra funding sources can be secured.

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Here is more on the site move. It seems another reason why they chose the Elm Street site is so that other potential development can be built around the PAC

 

 

link

http://www.digtriad.com/news/article/294274/57/City-Considers-New-Location-For-GPAC

 

video link showing the site

http://www.digtriad.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=2594144193001

Edited by cityboi

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The way this is all going on behind closed doors makes me think there might be something a bit more substantial than a "potential" development, but I guess we'll find out sooner or later.

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fundraisers for the private portion of the $60 million PAC have met their goal of over $20 million in donation. In fact, they feel like they can continue further and raise $30 million even though the other $40 can come from other sources. Its an amazing feat for a community to get together like that and raise this much money in private donations. The bulk of it comes from local companies, foundations and wealthy individuals. It just demonstrates how much support this performing arts center has. Greensboro really has become a can do city. A lot of things have happened in the city over the past 8 years that would never have happened 15 years ago. The attitude of this city has changed.

 

http://www.news-record.com/news/article_e11e933c-04fb-11e3-8d0d-0019bb30f31a.html

Edited by cityboi

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County Commissioners ok use of hotel tax to help pay for performing arts center. I think its pretty safe to say this project is happening

 

http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/article_2f30d29c-0619-11e3-b1f0-0019bb30f31a.html

 

I'm shocked that it was that lopsided, given that we were talking about a 5-4 or 6-3 vote just a couple of days ago

Edited by kdub1

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more info about the performing arts center on the new site. The article includes renderings for the new site, however its not the final design. But its exciting to think about what it will look like and it will likely look ultra modern and sleek.
 
 
even though these aren't the final designs, they do show an outline of a new tower that seems to be attached to the performing arts center on the daytime rendering. Whether its suppose to be an office tower, hotel or luxury apartments, one can only speculate.
 
link
Edited by cityboi

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Its official, Greensboro is getting a downtown performing arts center. City Council voted to purchase several properties for the center and voted for the financing structure. $30 million from private donors and $30 million from hotel/motel tax, ticket tax and parking fees. No money will come from the general fund to build it and there is no need for a bond or tax hike. GPAC will have 3,000 seats for music concerts featuring major artists, broadway productions, traveling/comedy shows, Greensboro symphony and local productions.

 

http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/article_8dab8442-09d5-11e3-bf6a-0019bb30f31a.html

Edited by cityboi

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Would someone explain to me what happened with the proposed YWCA site? It by far is the more logical site. The site the city council voted to purchase is much better suited to future development of  medium and high rise projects. I fear we are about to build a nice GPAC with 10,000 parking spaces around it. This is a very 60's way of thinking and is very poor land management for an area where land is limited for future development.

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Would someone explain to me what happened with the proposed YWCA site? It by far is the more logical site. The site the city council voted to purchase is much better suited to future development of  medium and high rise projects. I fear we are about to build a nice GPAC with 10,000 parking spaces around it. This is a very 60's way of thinking and is very poor land management for an area where land is limited for future development.

 

apparently the big reason for proposing it on the North Elm site is so there can be premium parking to help pay for the center. But also, the site is large enough for mixed-use mid/highrise development that would be attached to the PAC. The city is clearly thinking in that direction based on renderings. I would hope there is no surface parking. Either a parking deck or underground parking for 200 premium spaces.

Edited by cityboi

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Just plain dishonest by Roch Smith-Greensboro blogger

.

 

6:31 AM    

I like the idea of a performing arts center downtown, I don't like that the location at the top of the list of the citizens' task force (the YWCA site) is being rejected in favor of another location and justified with suspect explanations.

Start with the math: The City says the proposed site, while $10 million more costly than the YWCA site, will offer more income from 250 VIP parking spaces. Their published projections assumed those would be 100% occupied at each event and that there would be 180 events per year -- a figure they originally attributed to a consultant's study. That was false. The consultant's study, as the City now admits, anticipated 149 events per year. The City explains the "error" by saying they "blended" (their word) the consultant's number with a projection of 220 events made by city staff. That 220, however, includes 50 rehearsal and load-in days, events for which there will be no audiences to pay for VIP parking.

Can we not, as a City, approach this decision with honesty? If this parking revenue falls short, taxpayers will be on the hook to make up the shortfall.

That's not all. Not included in the City's calculations of "increased" parking revenue at the proposed site are things that will deduct from that revenue:

1. Loss of revenues from the property taxes currently collected on those properties when they become public property.
2. Loss of revenues from the city-owned parking spaces currently on that block.
3. I'm not sure, but I can't seem to find that their calculations include demolition of the buildings on the property.
4. The cost of tearing down the War Memorial Stadium (which the City relies on in their projections to force events to the new GPAC).

Finally,  who are the stockholders of the corporate entities from which the City will be buying the properties? Council agenda items often include detail about the people behind the corporations with whom the City is being asked to do business. There is no such list attached to the proposal to purchase the corporate-owned properties at the proposed location.

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HORNSWAGGLED!

by Roch Smith-Greensboro blogger: 10:04 AM

In a stunning display of willful ignorance, the Greensboro City Council danced around a $10 million black hole in the room last night and approved the purchase of land to accommodate a downtown performing arts center.

Mark my words, it won't be long before the City will be trying to round up another $10 million to cover what they will surely describe, and the brain dead local media will dutifully report, as an "unexpected" shortfall. Here's why.

In 2012, when the idea of a possible performing arts center downtown was taking shape, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro came to City Council and asked for $200,000 for a study to determine, among other things, what it would cost to build such a facility. The City provided the money, the task force hired a consultant and, in January of this year, they produced a master plan. You can see it here.

It was very thorough in estimating the facility's cost, including estimations for everything from the building, to heating and air, to electrical—twenty-seven pages of the kind of professional evaluation that would inspire confidence that the resulting cost would be reasonably reliable. The conclusion?

"The estimated total Project Cost for the Greensboro Performing Arts Center in mid-2012 dollars is $60.5 million."

After a lot of twists and turns, $60 million is exactly what the City of Greensboro and the Community Foundation have now come up with to spend through usage fees, hotel/motel tax and private contributions. $60 million is the "total" budget everyone was discussing at the meeting last night when debating whether or not to buy privately owned land for an arts center at the Bellmeade site.

Just one problem though—one $10 million problem. The twenty-seven page itemized professional cost estimation to which the City contributed $200,000 determined the cost of the facility at $60.5 million in mid-2012 dollars if it was built on property the city already owned. It did not include land acquisition costs or demolition costs.

The projected $60.5 million did not include land acquisition costs or demolition costs. Yet, somehow, as if by magic, City Council last night determined that they could take $10 million out of a $60 million budget to buy some land and still have enough money remaining to pay for a facility that was projected to cost $60.5 million in mid-2012 dollars without land acquisition or demolition costs.

There was a single slide in a GPAC task force presentation that considered the possibility of acquiring the land at the Bellmeade site. It anticipated shaving $5 million off the cost of constructing the facility and using $5 million to purchase land. Of course, that anticipated a lesser facility and only $5 million to purchase land the city council is now hoping to buy for $10 million and for which they've already spent, as of last night, $7.6 million.

It gets worse. While the city was setting aside their subtraction-immune $10 million to purchase a downtown block, their vote last night was actually to buy only seven of the nine needed properties. For those seven properties, Council agreed to spend $7.6 million. The owners of the other two properties have not yet been willing to agree to sell. They've been holding out and now they have the City over a barrel. The sky is the limit for what those owners can demand now.

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Zalo, my dear friend from Winston-Salem.....If the city of Greensboro does have to end up supporting operational costs from the general fund, its no different from any civic venue in the city like the coliseum and the aquatic center. Just about every city that has a performing arts center has to provide some public support sooner or later. Bottom line, this is a game changer for downtown Greensboro and its the biggest single development thus far that will have a big economic impact on downtown Greensboro. Better than the ballpark in my opinion. Its not even built yet and its triggered two midrise/highrise hotel projects and there are rumors that the PAC could one day include either a hotel or mixed-use complex that includes a large corporate headquarters on the PAC property. Once city council person hinted that. More than likely it would be an existing corporate headquarters in the city such as NewBridge Bank or VF Corp that would be candidates for moving downtown. The PAC attached to a small mixed-use office tower would be a good incentive for any major local company to move downtown. If I had to bet my money, it would be an office/luxury apartment tower with NewBridge Bank as the anchor tenant. It would be great exposure for a bank looking to expand its footprint. The PAC will also be the biggest tourist attraction in the center-city. No other downtown venue would draw a large number of people within a 70 mile radius.

 

http://myfox8.com/2013/08/21/bringing-gpac-to-life/

Edited by cityboi

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Has there been any explanation as to why they decided to move the site of the PAC at the last minute?

 my guess is the parking revenue the city will get from the larger city to help pay for the PAC. They didnt have that option on the table with the smaller YWCA site. One big plus for moving the PAC to the North Elm site is having downtown's largest parking deck (8-story Bellemeade deck) diagonally across the street so there is no need to build a really large parking deck next to the PAC like Durham did.

Edited by cityboi

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My dear Gboi, Mr. Smith is not talking about the $380,000 in annual operating deficits that the facility is "projecting" to incur. That is a given. You may want to re-read the above posts to better comprehend what it actually says. He is speaking of the $10 million that is projected to be generated by parking fees for the CONSTRUCTION of the facility. That is a lot of dough to come up with just on parking fees. And Mr. Hartzman has some very intriguing questions as to how all those pledges are going to be invested in such a way as to provide All the necessary income to cover the line of credit over the ensuing life of the loan/line of credit. Also, I suppose the money previously spent on the purchase last year of the YWCA site for the specific purpose of being used for the facility will be offloaded from the expense column of the project, thereby incurring additional stealth costs, much like the aquatic center.

But I wish you the best, I'm sure Donny & Marie can't wait to play at the new P-forming Artz Center in 2016 ;-)

Edited by zalo

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