Plans in works for former Presbyterian Home site

Nov. 14, 2012 @ 05:16 PM

Owners of the former Presbyterian Home of High Point retirement community are at odds with city officials over their redevelopment plans for the property.
Blue Ridge Cos. of High Point and D.H. Griffin Cos. of Greensboro are looking to convert part of the 18-acre site at 201 Greensboro Road into single-family homes for sale. City zoning rules won’t allow them to do this because the street system and the utilities that serve the former housing units on the property don’t meet city standards.
The property owners say they plan to convert part of the site into rental housing and will continue to work with the city in the hopes of having the regulations updated.
“We have found that the current ordinance doesn’t provide for creative reuse of this type of property,” said Blue Ridge CEO David Couch. “We can’t hold the property forever. We need to put it into use, and the only use we can put it into today under the old ordinance – in its current zoning – is to turn around and rent them while working to hopefully modify some of the ordinances.”
Presbyterian Home operated at its previous location from 1952 to 2005, when its approximately 300 residents moved to River Landing at Sandy Ridge in Colfax.
The companies acquired the property for $1.4 million in April 2011. Their plans are to renovate the 104 single-family, duplex and apartment homes on site that housed retirees and set aside the front portion of the property for commercial development.
Couch said he would like to subdivide some of the site to allow the homes to be sold. That isn’t possible under the city’s subdivision standards because there isn’t a public street system within the property, according to Bob Robbins, city development services administrator. Its streets are more like driveways and weren’t built to city specifications, Robbins said. The streets, along with the water and sewer infrastructure serving the property, would have to be upgraded to meet subdivision standards, he said.
City officials have suggested that Couch and Griffin use a type of development plan that would enable them to use the existing housing on the site.
“We’re doing the best we can to allow them to at least rent them,” Robbins said.
Couch said the housing units are in good shape and won’t require much work to prepare for the marketplace.
“We’re just talking cosmetic – I wouldn’t even call it repairs – just touchups and we’re ready to go,” he said.
Another part of the plan is to have commercial development on the front of the site, possibly by removing some of the buildings there to accommodate it. A cell phone tower on the front of the property would have to be relocated to the rear of the site.
pkimbrough@hpe.com | 888-3531