GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A non-profit called Self Help Ventures Fund is the third group in the last several years to propose a plan to renovate the Renaissance/Bessemer Center.
Councilman Jamal Fox said Thursday night nearly 220 people attended the public meeting where the proposal was explained to residents.
"The biggest, loudest elephant in the room was: Get is done. We want to see something, it’s been too long," Fox said.
Fox said the next step is to ask for input on what's missing and what is needed in order for the proposal to push forward.
Comments and ideas can be submitted online at greensboroideas.com until Feb. 7.
Self Help is asking for $2 million from the city to renovate the shopping center in addition to the $2.6 million the non-profit is investing.
Fox said that whether the money would be in the form of a grant or forgivable loan is negotiable and will be discussed amongst council and Self Help staff.
Self Help is working with Renaissance Community Cooperative to place a 10,000-square-foot grocery retail store and lease to tenants for the other existing empty spaces.
The other types of businesses have not yet been decided upon.
In one written statement from the public meeting Thursday night one resident wrote:
Please do not put any businesses [selling] drugs, alcohol, beer, cigarettes, gambling. Our young people are drawn to these businesses. Mothers and fathers are having trouble keeping our young people whole, healthy and contributing in our families. We need to protect our children. We need to be careful of negative influences.
Fox said all of the ideas from the public meeting and website will be compiled and presented to city council on Feb. 18.
"Once we make this corridor good then we make this entire city whole. When one part of our city is down, we're all down," Fox said.