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Feb 10, 2013


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Peggy Hickle

My impression is that "people" are definitely deterred from crossing the tracks BECAUSE of the scary boarded up building on the tracks. And as much as I theoretically am enamored of the idea of preserving the historical flavor that is part of what makes Greensboro's downtown so interesting, realistically -- who's buying into this building right on the tracks?


"For that matter, why is downtown GSO's main street still bisected by train tracks in 2013"

It's a main line for passenger and freight trains. Not sure if you'd move the tracks or the road. Regardless, I've wondered why they (you know, them) can't put some sort of descending stop arm at the point where drivers can take the detour under the tracks, guiding them around.


Whether you move the tracks or the road depends on which was there first -- that issue came up when bridges from Church St. over the tracks had to be raised years ago at East Bessemer and, I think, East Cornwallis. In this particular case, I think, but do not know, that the street was there first, but that the tracks might well have been there before any of the surrounding development. If that's the case, it would make for an interesting and tricky problem in raising, lowering or relocating tracks so as not to interfere with Elm St. traffic.

That being the case, Roch's suggestion re stop arms might be far the easiest solution to the problem.


Save (stabilize) the superstructure, but let the interior go. There is no sense to spend the money to make the interior of that building usable, but the exterior of the building - open to the elements on the interior could be an interesting architectural element downtown. In this case, preservation doesn't necessarily need to include reuse or repurpose. Let the Greensboro Mural Project tackle the interior walls and get the guy who did the lighting on the Downtown Greenway underpass to add his touch, and voila! Less money, more interesting.


But the North Carolina Railroad Co. says the building is in the railway's 200-foot right of way and could be torn down to make way for expansion.the nc railroad company is going to be the hardest hurdle in this whole ordeal . This property is way too close to railroad to be fixed or preserved.

Andrew Brod

My understanding is that the NC Railroad will (can?) claim its right of way only if the building is demolished. Is that not right?


Councilwoman Hoffman: "“Let’s just do it; save this building so we can at least stabilize it and maintain the facade and sides. "

Why does that remind me of War Memorial Stadium?


I hear Tyco is pulling out 5,000 Greensboro Jobs and moving them to Mexico.

We can't afford doing stuff like this. If NC cuts off unemployment benefits which it looks like they are going to do, we are going to need public safety as the top priority.

I also heard Cone Health is cutting the match on their 401k by 50%. Quite the pay cut for 6,000 plus employees?

I believe what has been keeping the crime rate down is unemployment benefits keeping the unemployed "masses" relatively law abiding. If that ends...

David Hoggard

Why, Hugh? Because it involves historic preservation which is almost always messy, expensive and protracted.

They just aren't making any more Cascade Saloons or War Memorial Stadiums anymore.

I applaud and support the Council in their efforts to save both.


WMS yes, Cascade no.

Too far gone and in a location not suited for development today.

A nice place for a pocket park. That might attract some folks across the tracks.......


David, I don't disagree. How's the stadium preservation coming along?

George, 5000 jobs? Tyco only has 1250 employees in Greensboro per the GEDA: http://www.greensboroeda.com/site_selection/mc_subs/major_employers.asp


"I believe what has been keeping the crime rate down is unemployment benefits keeping the unemployed "masses" relatively law abiding. If that ends..."

lulz. A+. Local Les Mis shtick has serious potential to be Internet gold.

David Hoggard

Not "too far gone", Collards. "Far gone"? Yes. Just leave out the "too".

"Beyond repair" isn't in my vocabulary, either. I believe "ready for repair" is much more apt when it comes to matters of historic preservation.

I've seen far worse. Just a matter of vision, priorities, and, of course, money.


"Just a matter of vision, priorities, and, of course, money."

I applaud David's "capitalist" advocacy.
I heard Friday from an employee of one of the Tyco subsidiaries.

Lot's of different names locally.

As he is a xxxxyyyy of a plant shutting down this year, he said the whole Guilford County regional operation under all the different names is on its way out.


The whole series of intersections in the are of McGee St., Elm St., Martin Luther King Dr., Barnardt St and Davie Street is a horrible mess.
Someone with better sense than those running Greensboro Dept of Transportation should design a less confusing way to travel in that area.
And if you throw in the little street where Spring Garden takes a nasty curve onto Greene Street and that silly traffic circle, you add more confusion for drivers AND walkers.
And those damn medians all over the place that are too short or too narrow and mostly not needed add to the mess.
My rant is over FOR NOW. I have been complaining about this for years. Obviously to deaf ears.

Ed Cone

George, is the Tyco cut in addition to the closure the company announced late last year?

5k jobs would make Tyco one of the very largest employers in the county, which would come as news to me.


Don't know and not confirmed.

I have informed the for profit press.

What they may or may not investigate is anyone's guess.

They more than I ever would have thought often, they don't report what they actually know.

Andrew Brod

According to the NCDES, Tyco is indeed one of the very largest employers in the county. It was the 13th largest as of 2012Q2 (the most recent data). All the state will publish about the size of its workforce is that it's 1,000+.

However, the 8th-largest employer is High Point Regional Health System, which says on its website that it employs 2,200 people in North Carolina. So however many Tyco employs in the county, it's less than 2,200.

For what that's worth.


he says the layoffs r supposed to occur over the next two to three years.

it could production costs by half.

may be a mistake.

venusuela depreciated their currency by 40 plus % friday.

argentina froze prices and grocery ads last week.

dollar goes up from here?

egypt dollar supplies drying up.

the mint is going to be on fire from here maybe.

iran rial down 20% plus in a couple weeks.

shit may get to get real again shortly.

can't fake it forever.

David Hoggard

Breathlessly, previously... "I hear Tyco is pulling out 5,000 Greensboro Jobs and moving them to Mexico."

Then, later, "may be a mistake."



Ed Cone

"Lot's of different names locally."

Right, but they would still show up under the corporate umbrella in government and company reports, wouldn't they, and be searchable under the names at the Tyco.com website?


david, it may be a mistake to move production to mexico.


"government and company reports"

My faith in these two items is lacking.
"Some of the many products made by Tyco include:

Fire alarm systems (Simplex, ADT)
Fire-fighting hardware and Fire-fighting foam concentrates (Ansul, Skum, Total Walther, and Sabo)
Circuit protection devices
Engineering services
Fire sprinklers (SimplexGrinnell, Wormald)
Security systems (ADT, DSC)
GRINNELL Grooved Products
Valves and controls
Pressure-relief valves for nuclear power generation
Safety products (including industrial-site safety & personal protective equipment (PPE))
EAS (electronic article surveillance) & RFID (radio frequency identification) products (Sensormatic)
CCTV/Access Control Equipment (ADT, American Dynamics, Kantech, Software House, CEM Systems)
What did AMP make/do before bought by Tyco?

TE Connectivity?

This thing is a maze.

Ed Cone

I'm wrong above, TE Connectivity is not part of Tyco, having been spun off as Tyco Electronics and then changing the name again. BizJournal reported the November announcement of 620 lost jobs, and that TE has 3 other Triad facilities.


I am pretty sure I heard about TE Connectivity in the conversation.


"GREENSBORO, N.C. — TE Connectivity will close its Greensboro plant by the end of next year, resulting in 620 layoffs.
Tom Peacock, Senior Manager of Communications for TE Connectivity, confirms the plant on Piedmont Triad Parkway will close by December, 2013, with layoffs beginning in January.
620 employees will face layoffs while 50 employees will be transferred to other TE locations.
According to Peacock, the reason for the layoffs is a ”need to improve operating efficiencies.”
The equipment and work at the plant, which makes electronic connectors for appliances, will go to company facilities in South Carolina, Lickdale, PA , Mexico and China. Formerly Tyco Electronics, the plant opened in 1995.

Other Greensboro TE facilities that employ a total of about 1,300 will remain in Greensboro.

Exact figures were not available.

Those facilities manufacturer connectors for electronics systems in the auto industry, such as systems that monitor engines and brakes.
This guy said the whole operation is winding down.


Re: The railroad problem. Why not close the portion of Elm Street between MLK and either Smothers or McGee, and re-route it along McGee, under the bridge? And then tear up the pavement and increase the green space that's already there?


P.S. This post title makes me cringe, BTW. I've known a number of people who've been hit by trains. Some survived. I'm going to visit one later this week. He's now in a nursing home and it's a miracle that he survived.

Ed Cone

Sorry to stoke a bad feeling, Michele.

But you have to admit that Tangled Up in Blue is pretty awesome.


Leave the first three feet of the outside walls and make it a pocket park.

David Wharton

Any liability problems with having a park in the RR right-of-way? I can't say having kids play next to the tracks sounds like a great idea to me.



North Carolina General Statutes § 14‑280.1. Trespassing on railroad right‑of‑way.

(a) Offense. – A person commits the offense of trespassing on railroad right‑of‑way if the person enters and remains on the railroad right‑of‑way without the consent of the railroad company or the person operating the railroad or without authority granted pursuant to State or federal law.
(b) Crossings. – Nothing in this section shall apply to a person crossing the railroad right‑of‑way at a public or private crossing.
(c) Legally Abandoned Rights‑of‑Way. – This section shall not apply to any right‑of‑way that has been legally abandoned pursuant to an order of a federal or State agency having jurisdiction over the right‑of‑way and is not being used for railroad services.
(d) Classification. – Trespassing on railroad right‑of‑way is a Class 3 misdemeanor. (2000‑146, s. 10.)

In NC, the railroad right-of-way is 200ft -- 100ft from either side of the centerline. (I know this, because many homeless people get arrested for RR trespassing.)


Normally I'm all for preserving structures like this but who is going to spend the money to really fix this building up and make it safe? I certainly don't think our tax dollars should do it. It not a safe location for any kind of establishment that will lead to people loitering next to the tracks. It's literally a couple of feet from the tracks and high speed rail train will one do zoom by. Demolish it and use Action Greensboro's recommendation from 2001 for the site. It should be a part of the proposed "Rail Yard Park", a linear park along the tracks with a chain of ponds and promenade from the rail yard to the western leg of the greenway near Spring Garden Street. The ponds could serve as a pedestrian buffer and would actually encourage people to walk on the other side of the tracks. The linear park would serve as a pedestrian shortcut from the eastern leg of the greenway to the western leg of the greenway. The city needs to work harder to try to secure the rail yard from Norfolk Southern to make that happen is difficult as that may be. The rail yard is one of the few major eyesores left downtown.

David Hoggard

"Normally I'm all for preserving structures like this..."

No you aren't.

Yeah. Rah Rah. Go AG!


David, if this building had been located away from the railroad tracks and a private developer wished to purchase the building and fix it up, I would be all for it. I'm not against preservation. And who knows, some unforeseeable legal issues could also come up at some point in the future in regards to redeveloping a structure in the right of way of Norfolk Southern.

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