The big picture is the positive impact UNCG is about to have on Greensboro, said Mike Byers, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises. Whereas the city’s plan to spur development along the Lee Street/High Point Road corridor might have taken many years, the university’s investment in the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village will do that much more quickly, he explained.
Chancellor Linda P. Brady made introductions as the Board of Trustees’ July 15 teleconference meeting began. “This will be an informational meeting,” Brady explained, an opportunity for trustees to be updated on the process. She noted a rezoning request was planned for the Greensboro City Council on Sept. 13.
She introduced Byers, who provided the details on the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village and the rezoning request.
“The Lee Street corridor needs redevelopment, and we’re prepared to do it,” Byers said, noting the significant economic impact the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village will have along the corridor.
Byers explained that Phase I of the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village project will encompass 800-bed student housing, with mixed-use space on the ground floors along Lee Street. Some space on the ground level may include UNCG programs. Additionally, there will be a mail room and a cafe, each open to the public. These buildings will go back about 1 1/2 blocks off of Lee Street, he said. In August 2013, this section of student housing is scheduled to open.
UNCG has a rezoning application, Byers explained. And UNCG has requested that Glenwood change its Neighborhood Plan for certain areas from single family to mixed-use residential. He said it’s a matter of adjusting a line in that plan, for several blocks east to west, on the south side of Union Street. UNCG proposes to change the depth of the swath of mixed-use residential development in the neighborhood plan, he said.
Byers said a final Memorandum of Understanding between the Glenwood Neighborhood and UNCG will probably take several more months, but that is not required for the current rezoning request.
He also spoke of a few things that will happen in the same time frame as Phase I:
- The police facility is under design. To be located very near the pedestrian underpass, it is planned to open in 2013.
- The pedestrian underpass is nearing completion of its design. The underpass project will break ground this fall, he expects, and will open in 2013.
- Additionally, he noted that some residents have expressed concern about the proposed size of the recreation center, which is not part of Phase I. In response to concerns from the neighborhood, he said that in the plans they have moved it one block away from where they had hoped to place it, which was near the underpass. “We moved it a block to the west,” he said, to an area currently zoned Industrial.
The addition of on-campus housing is part of UNCG’s strategic housing plan. National data has shown that students living on campus are more likely to be successful academically, the chancellor has explained.
The majority of the facilities proposed for the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village are student housing facilities. UNCG will borrow money to build these. The debt service (mortgage payment) on these buildings and the money it takes to operate them from day-to-day will come from the rents charged to students who will live there. More details about the funding can be found in this FAQ document.
By Mike Harris
Visual: Draft rendering of Lee Street sidewalk