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Greensboro breaks ground on Tanger Center for the Performing Arts amid contract negotiations

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Hundreds of people came to the groundbreaking ceremony for the Stephen Tanger Center for the Performing Arts Wednesday afternoon in downtown Greensboro.

Several people gave speeches at the ceremony, including Governor Roy Cooper, Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Steven Tanger and other key players in the project.

They talked about how this center will not only allow people to see things like musicals, concert and comedy shows, but also boost our local economy.

“The construction is a $30 million economic impact,” said Walker Sanders, the president of Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. “The annual economic impact is estimated on eight to 10 million a year.”

“It's one more offering that we have for people to come here and for businesses to relocate,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan.

The ceremony on Wednesday kicked off what should be the start of construction for the project, but there’s been some confusion on when exactly that construction will start.

Matt Brown is the director of the Greensboro Coliseum. He says city crews will begin demolishing two buildings on the lot any day now.

Before all the groundwork can begin, a contact with an outside construction crew will still need to be finalized. Brown is in negotiations right now.

“We have a set scope of work that we want only accomplished in this first phase and we want it in a certain time period,” Brown said. ”We got to get on the same page or we're going to move in another direction.”

City council approved to continue negotiations and a max budget of around $2.5 million to be used for the ground work Tuesday night. Brown says he is going to take that offer back to contactor he’s negotiating with.

Another contract, expected to be around $50 million, will be need to be discussed by the city council this fall to construct the building.

Councilwoman Marikay Abuzuaiter is afraid that approving the payment in pieces will bring up more added costs.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan doesn’t agree.

“Our budget is known, so as the contractors who are coming in, they are going to know what numbers they have to hit because we are not going to spend more money,” Mayor Vaughan said.

Matt Brown says there is a possibility the price of things like materials and labor will go up, but he says that won’t be on the city.

“We will do everything possible to address that at the time,” Brown said. “With our further commitment to the council that we will not use tax payer city funding to address any of those potential issues.”

Right now, the almost $80 million center is expected to be complete by June of 2019.