Developer Proposes New Design Plan For Hobbs-Friendly Center

Developer Proposes New Design Plan For Hobbs-Friendly Center

8:08pm Mar 24, 2015
Charles Worthen, an executive with Halpern, speaks to Greensboro residents. This photo was taken by Triad Business Journal editor Mark Sutter on Jan. 6 during a meeting held at the First Lutheran Church on Friendly Avenue, which is adjacent to the 6.7 acres it wants to rezone. Halpern invited residents to show them their plans. Reaction was pretty much uniformly negative.
Mark Sutter / The Triad Business Journal

The developer of a proposed shopping center at the corner of Hobbs Road and Friendly Avenue in Greensboro is presenting his new design plan to homeowners.

The Hobbs Friendly project has been controversial because the company, Halpern Enterprises, wants to rezone 6.7 acres from residential to retail.

Six homes will be torn down in this new design, but the plan includes upscale town homes and some single family houses. Greensboro Attorney Tom Terrell represents Atlanta-based Halpern. He says the company is addressing the concerns of residents.

“This particular iteration of the plan contains residential development in the northern sector that creates a transition and a buffer between residential and retail,” says Terrell. "Perhaps most importantly, the site will have several trees saved and integrated into the site design.”

This is the fourth zoning application with three different developers for the Hobbs Friendly area. Greg Brown is part of the Friendly Coalition, a group that wants to preserve the residential character of their neighborhood.

“This whole area has been stable for decades and we are afraid this zoning change would start a trend of additional commercial development in strip shopping centers along a busy avenue in Greensboro surrounded by dense housing,” says Brown.

Halpern will present its new design to the Greensboro Zoning Commission April 13. It’s expected to go to Greensboro City Council for final approval.

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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