GREENSBORO — Greensboro will get its first new downtown office tower in decades as the “Project Slugger” development gets underway today on a corner of land at First National Bank Field, home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Winston-Salem developer and commercial real estate firm Front Street Capital will break ground today on the nine-story, 110,000-square-foot building on the northwest corner of Eugene and Bellemeade streets, an intersection that has become a downtown hot spot for growth.
It will be built on land just outside the first base line at the baseball stadium and will feature the regional headquarters of the park’s namesake, First National Bank.
Greensboro law firm Tuggle Duggins PA will be the building’s anchor tenant, Front Street said.
Robin Team, a Front Street partner, declined to say what the total cost of the building is, but said construction will cost about $250 per square foot. That’s a little more than the $24 million the company said it would cost when it first announced the building in 2017.
Front Street said in a news release that other tenants besides the bank and the law firm are negotiating now for space in the building and that a restaurant is planned for the ground floor. Front Street expects tenants to occupy the building next summer.
The idea for the first office tower downtown since the building boom of the late 1980s came from Donald Moore, president of the Grasshoppers organization, Front Street said in a news release.
Moore brought the idea to the company more than three years ago, according to Front Street.
During construction, a new entrance to the ballpark will be built that will physically connect the office tower to the ballpark.
The Grasshoppers, Front Street and a variety of community leaders have been working on the project since Moore pitched the idea.
“This marquee project for Downtown Greensboro is the result of years of hard work by numerous community stakeholders,” Team said in the release. “Building new office space plays a key role in the continued growth of downtown by helping our anchor tenants attract top talent and grow their businesses.”
Another building essential to Project Slugger, a city parking deck on the south side of Bellemeade, slowed the development as the city worked out details of the deck.
The $22 million city-built deck, which will provide essential parking for Project Slugger tenants, will be the centerpiece of a $140 million hotel, office and apartment project that developer Roy Carroll plans for the block along Eugene Street between Bellemeade and Friendly Avenue.
Once the city and Carroll agreed on their roles in the project, Front Street could move forward with its office building.
Front Street’s building will become a key component of a district that has grown around the ballpark in the past several years.
Carroll is wrapping up construction on his Carroll Bellemeade project east of the ballpark, with a Hyatt Place hotel and 289 apartments. Carroll’s new “Carroll South of Ballpark” project could include a 20-story office building and an Aloft Hotel, the developer announced earlier this month.