East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees has approved two deals that will bring a hotel into the downtown area and development to the city’s warehouse district.
The board approved the deals during a special called meeting held on Friday.
Two deals were struck on a project involving three properties in the warehouse district, also called the East Carolina Research and Innovation campus.
ECU will sell to Elliott Sidewalk Communities, a Maryland-based firm, three properties through what is known as a simple deed. The deed will include terms requiring the land to revert back to ECU after 80 years. The company will pay the appraised value of $2.68 million for a term of 80 years.
The three properties are the Export Leaf Tobacco building at 301 West 10th St., Prichard Hughes Warehouse at 1003 Clark St. and American Tobacco Company storage warehouse No. 2 at 1104 Clark St.
The second deal will grant a ground lease of the three properties to Elliott Sidewalk Communities for a period of 19 years, beginning when the property reverts back to ECU. Negotiations on those lease payments will begin in year 70 of the agreement.
“Engaging with an experienced master developer in our warehouse district is crucial to maximizing the benefit of this land for ECU and our community,” ECU Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson said.
The transaction is contingent on approvals from the UNC Board of Governors, Joint Commission on Governmental Operations and the Council of State. The ground lease is contingent on approval by the UNC Board of Governors.
“This will be an innovation district that will serve as a magnet to private sector investment,” Mitchelson said. “We will witness job creation at a significant pace in short order. Moreover, the adaptive reuse of the Export Leaf Building will symbolize the very nature of regional transformation that we all envision.”
Tim Elliott of Elliott Sidewalk Communities previously worked on The Lofts at Dickinson project with partners Hallmark Campus Housing. He also helped form the revitalization plan for the Dickinson Avenue mixed-use projects in Uptown, according to information released by ECU.
“We are elated to join ECU on an exciting opportunity to develop the historic warehouse district into an innovation and economic hub for Greenville,” Elliott said.
The trustees also approved a 65-year lease of university parking lot property at the corner of Fourth and Reade streets to Daly Seven Inc. of Greensboro for the construction of a university-themed hotel. It will be one of three hotel projects being planned for downtown Greenville.
“This is an exciting opportunity for partnership with the developer on a number of levels, including the Pirate brand and support for ECU students,” Mitchelson said. “I believe our School of Hospitality Leadership, in particular, will find tremendous opportunity with this partnership.”
Daly Seven owns and operates 40 hotels in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The ground lease is contingent on the UNC Board of Governors’ approval.
“In my way of thinking, it would be hard to overstate the importance of these economic development projects on millennial property that have been approved today (Friday) by the Board of Trustees,” Mitchelson said. “Together with the city we are developing a fantastic destination for students, faculty, young professionals, and investment.
“It’s been a long time coming but I think it will be worth the wait,” he said. “Now we will be seeking UNC BOG approvals and I am confident they will see the same benefits for ECU and the region that we do.”