On Monday I received a call from Revolution Mill Studios, LLC.Ã‚Â Late in the day I met withÃ‚Â managing partner Jim Peeples to hear what was concerning him.
Having little time to write and post about what I discovered, I contacted the N&R to see if they might be interested in covering the story that I heard from Peeples.Ã‚Â They did cover it, in today’s edition, but not in a way that will likely help Peeples hold the City of Greensboro at bay from possibly destroying a National Registry property.
Reporter Jim Schlosser did a fine job of telling how Peeples’ company is acquiring the three old Cone mills on Yanceyville Street.Ã‚Â Revolution, Olympia and Print Works mills are being assembled into a 75 acre complex housing over 1 MILLION sq. ft. of commercial and residential space.Ã‚Â But he stopped short of doing what needed to be done.Ã‚Â Namely: Get the City to listen to reason.
The city is currently replacing the North Buffalo Creek sewer outfall.Ã‚Â This huge, 54″, pipeline upgrade is designed to stop many of the sewage over-flowÃ‚Â spills that occur when we get a whole bunch of rain.Ã‚Â (think Latham Park).Ã‚Â Problem is, the designers and engineers for the project decided to run the pipe 8 feet away from the corner of the old Revolution Mill warehouse.Ã‚Â The 180,000 sq ft building currently houses a self storage building.Ã‚Â But the plans are to convert it into condominiums.
That is, if it is still standing after all of the blasting and digging it will take to create the 30′ deep trench that the city is digging.Ã‚Â I did mention that that trench is EIGHT FEET away from the corner of the old building, didn’t I?Ã‚Â This photo was taken from the centerline of the planned 30′ deep trench and shows how close the trench will be to the corner of the building.
Peeples reported to me that neither the City nor the contractor has accepted liability or responsibility for the likely damage that will occur once the blasting gets going.Ã‚Â And damage is likely.
That warehouse is a 1920′s engineering marvel.Ã‚Â As the photos show, the structure is built upon concrete piers that allows Buffalo Creek to meander underneath it.Ã‚Â (click for larger image)Ã‚Â Although the stucture appears precariously constructed, those reinforced columns are as solid as the day they were poured nearly 100 years ago.
Dynamite and deep trenching could alter all of that and cause the building to become unstable.Ã‚Â So the folks who are investing over $130 MILLION dollars to save those old buildings are asking the City to move the trench to another location on their property.
Peeples has met with Asst. city Manager Ben Brown and some of the Water Resource folks, but so far he hasn’t been able to convince them that dynamite blasting within eight feet of a 100 year old building is just not a good idea.Ã‚Â Especially if no one is liable for the damage.
Schlosser’s is a fine article about the great development that is going on over on Yanceyville Street.Ã‚Â But it missed the point of concern for the developers of the $130M mill complex (Who, by the way,Ã‚Â aren’t asking the city for any “incentives”).Ã‚Â Ã‚Â This line from the article gives a hint as to the problem: “…If it can work out a sewer line problem with the city, the studios would convert the building to condos or apartments.”
What the article doesn’t mention that unless that “sewer line problem” is resolved and the location of the outfall line is moved, the building may fall down and never get developed.