What’s inside the huge brick building on Lawndale Drive in Greensboro?

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A series of community design workshops this week are aimed at revamping Lawndale Drive by reusing vacant buildings for new apartments, townhomes and businesses.

The old Sears distribution center is among the buildings being looked at for reuse. The huge brick building is about 1.7 million cubic square-feet in size and is not really being used for anything currently. Designers are looking at ways to possibly put apartments in the building or make the building mixed use.

Plans to revamp Lawndale Drive also include expanding sidewalks and bike trails.

The area of Lawndale Drive in need of growth sits between Cone Boulevard and Cornwallis Drive which now houses several empty retail buildings.

“There needs to be growth and economic opportunity,” said Margaret Collins, executive director of Center for Creative Economy.

The group, along with Design Link and Piedmont Together, represent local designers and architects drawing up plans for the Lawndale neighborhood.

"We’re looking at apartments, townhomes, film studios, gymnasiums, schools," Collins said.

The community workshops have already worked in six other cities including Winston-Salem's Polo Road.

"I think it's a great idea," said Faye Mohorn, who owns Maison, an antique and consignment furniture store on Lawndale.

Her shop sits between several vacant buildings.

"It doesn't look good for the shops to be empty," Mohorn said.

She says she's in favor of any plan that will bring more people to the street.

“You can pull more people that will walk into your store and hopefully buy something," she said.

The groups behind the workshops hope to present their final drawings to the city and the public by May.

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