GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A name you are used to seeing while shopping for discounts and outlets malls will soon be etched on one of Greensboro's biggest projects in history.
On Monday, Steven B. Tanger pledged $7.5 million to the creation of a performing arts center downtown Greensboro to be named the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition to the social and artistic benefits, Tanger told FOX8 he sees this as an investment in Greensboro's economy.
"I'm an entrepreneur," he pointed out. "We like to create jobs. Jobs are what will get our economy moving again. This is a job generating facility which will provide much income for the city of Greensboro to spend on other venues and get our economy growing."
Tanger believes we'll soon see jobs in the form of construction at the site of the performing arts center off North Elm and Lindsay Streets, and later the center will create jobs for talented performers and operations at the center.
"I think for some people who've been sitting on the sidelines not quite sure if this thing was going to go forward? I think they're now going to realize... this project is going forward," said Kathy Manning, head of fundraising for the project with the Community Foundation.
Greensboro City Council member Nancy Vaughan expects demolition at the site to start in six to nine months and construction soon after.
"Definitely within the next year you're going to see some dirt moving," Vaughn said.
Mayor Robbie Perkins added, "We've purchased several of the parcels and we've got two or three more to go, and I think everything is well underway there. We have a site, we have money, the project is gonna happen."
The next step, they said, is meeting with architects and engineers.
"The current goal is to open in the spring of 2016," Manning said.
Tanger's multi-million pledge is in the form of a challenge grant, contingent on the Community Foundation raising another $7 million in funding by the end of the year. That would make the total for private donations $35 million.
"I'm committed to making it happen, and I think we will be able to get there," Tanger said confidently.