GREENSBORO — The architect of record for the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts went out of business in June, city officials say, and the city plans to hire the person who was handling the firm’s work for the $84.7 million project.
Rosser International, based in Atlanta, was one of several architecture firms that had roles on the major downtown project. But, according to a resolution considered Tuesday by the Greensboro City Council, the firm went out of business on June 25 and laid off all of its employees.
One of those employees was Amanda Hodgins, the lead architect at Rosser for the project.
Hodgins now works for TVS North Carolina and City Council voted 7-1 Tuesday to approve a contract with TVS for $140,000 so Hodgins can continue the project.
The TVS website says the firm is based in Atlanta and has a broad portfolio of major design projects.
Greensboro Coliseum Director Matt Brown, who is overseeing the project, wrote in an email that the members of the team of companies handling work for the Tanger Center “were able to ensure there were no disruptions in the continuity of the project.”
He said that the city did not lose any plans or design documents for the center when Rosser closed.
Brown wrote further that “the City intends to file a claim against (Rosser’s) professional liability insurance. The amount of the claim is to be determined.”
Brown said that the design contract has sufficient funding available to cover the contract with TVS.
“Rosser’s closing has not had any impact on the construction of the Tanger Center and the venue remains on schedule to open in March, 2020,” Brown added.
Rosser has been tight-lipped about its situation. Rosser posted on its website in the spring that it was planning a move to a different office on May 15. No other information was posted about changes at the firm and emails sent to firm officials were returned unopened.
Other than the resolution and comments from Brown, only news reports add details to the Rosser story.
One report from the Venues Now website says that Rosser closed on June 25. The website features a photo of the Tanger Center and quotes two sources close to the company about its closure. No one from the company would confirm to the site that it had closed.
“Fred Krenson, who as a senior vice president was among the top executives at Rosser before retiring in 2017 after 38 years at the firm, confirmed the information,” Venues Now reported. “Krenson said he was recently in contact with Rosser officials who told him the company would cease operations.”
In addition to its work on the Tanger Center, Rosser has designed stadiums and other major projects around the country.
A report on the Noozhawk website in Santa Barbara, Calif., reported in July that Rosser abruptly quit its work designing the Santa Barbara County Jail.
“The county ... has filed a civil lawsuit in Superior Court for breach of contract, alleging that Rosser International Inc. has caused project delays and increased costs,” the site reported.
“Rosser International notified the county on June 13 that it was ‘going out of business’ and ‘effective immediately will no longer be providing services’ for the jail project,” the report added.
Construction on the Tanger Center at North Elm and Bellemeade streets began in 2017.