GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Demolition is underway to make room for the new Steven B Tanger Center for Performing Arts in downtown Greensboro.
Starting this week, DH Griffin is demolishing the old Greensboro Inn. It's the first of several properties that will be demolished to make way for the new performing arts center.
On Wednesday, wrecking crews tore down some of the outside structure and separated scrap metal to get ready. The entire demolition should take about three weeks.
The $65 million project is funded through a public-private partnership. About $35 million is coming from private donations while the other $30 million will come from the city and your tax dollars. The city will get back some of that money from user fees, ticket sales, hotel-motel taxes and parking revenue.
Project leaders say it's a worthy investment. "They serve as a huge catalytic driver for new economic development around it and that's why communities across the country in the last 20 years have always built performing arts centers in their urban core because that's where the greatest density is," said Community Foundation President Walker Sanders.
Already, people have been driving by and taking pictures of the building that's been at the corner of Summit Avenue and Lindsey Street since 1962.
The cold weather isn't slowing their progress. Fortunately, some of the crew members spend much of their day inside the excavators. Others will take breaks to go inside and warm up.
They also need to protect their machines from the cold. "They have to run probably a good 20-30 minutes to warm up, get the hydraulics, oil and everything warm because you definitely don't crank up and just take off with them," said DH Griffin Wrecking Company operator Wayne Coleman.
Many of the parking spots around the block are closed during the demolition project.
WFMY News 2