Closings and delays

Northwest Greensboro developer switches plans for vacant land

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Officials said a parcel of land once meant for 100 upscale condominiums near the Shops at Friendly in Greensboro will now support as many as 200 apartments instead.

The land is a four-acre lot at the corner of Hobbs Road and Northline Avenue and has been vacant since 2004. Residents in the area reportedly call it 'The Pit,' and say it's an eyesore.

Mark O'Connor, co-chair of the Friendly Coalition, said he just finished fighting to keep a Trader Joe's from moving in at the corner of Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road, but said this is a completely different situation.

"We support development in this case," O'Connor said. "The plan has always been to have some sort of multifamily (development) there."

O'Connor said the Trader Joe's plan was contrary to the long-term plan for the area west of Hobbs Road, where he lives.

O'Connor's said his issue is with the number of apartments. Greensboro zoning ordinances allow a maximum of 40 units per acre when land is zoned for multifamily use.

Two hundred apartments on four acres would be 50 units per acre. A limit of 40 units per acre would cut the number of apartments down to 160. O'Connor said he is more likely to support 140 apartments.

"That's still a 40 percent increase in the number of units," he said.

Developer John Lomax proposed the plan. City planners will discuss the details on Monday, Sept. 10 at a public meeting of the zoning commission.