New life for Kilby? Group may save hotel

Jun. 02, 2014 @ 07:59 PM

The deteriorating Kilby Hotel near downtown may be saved through a California-based group that has taken over and revitalized historic, dilapidated properties on the West Coast.
Community Builders, an economic development group, is interested in reviving the Kilby Hotel as its first project on the East Coast and may target other properties on Washington Street, such as the First Baptist Church building that’s also in disrepair. The family that owns the Kilby Hotel, which was a fixture in the black business community for decades, would convey the building to Community Builders, Greensboro attorney Doug Harris told the High Point City Council Monday night.
At the first of this year, the City Council gave the owners of the Kilby Hotel several more months to come up with a plan to save the 104-year-old building that’s been a fixture on Washington Street.
City officials and structural engineers have determined that the hotel is unstable and in danger of collapsing. The city first deemed the building unsafe in late 2012.
The roof of the three-story building partially fell in through to the ground floor more than a year ago. Community Builders estimates it would cost $140,000 to $170,000 to shore up the building. If the project moves forward, it would start in July with bids, with work to start in 60 to 90 days, said Charity Belton, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of Community Builders.
The council will receive an update on the Kilby Hotel next month.
Harris told the council that Community Builders has performed multimillion dollar projects in the West. Community Builders may convert the Kilby Hotel to a combination of a culinary arts school and housing, Harris said.
Former state legislator Earl Jones of Greensboro, who once represented High Point in the N.C. General Assembly, said the Kilby Hotel could become a linchpin to reviving Washington Street.
“We think this could be a great asset to the city,” Jones said.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528