The prospective new owner of the Lotus Lounge property in downtown Greensboro is a familiar face on West Lewis Street.Andy Zimmerman, who does business as AZ Development, has the 120 W. Lewis St. building (housing Lotus Lounge nightclub) under contract as of today, according to a statement from Downtown Greensboro Inc. released this afternoon.
Zimmerman owns the buildings directly across the street that houses Gibb’s Hundred Brewing, the Forge makerspace and the newly opened HQ Greensboro co-working space. He also owns the building on the northwestern corner of South Elm and West Lewis streets, which is under development, as well as the property on the northern side of downtown where Crafted: the Art of Street Food and Preyer Brewing are located.
The news of the potential sale comes just days after a fatal shooting in the Railyard parking lot nearby. In the early morning hours this past Sunday, a 19-year old was shot and killed while leaving Lotus Lounge. Patrick Simmons, of Ahoskie, NC, died at the hospital after being shot, police said.
Greensboro police officers were 90-feet away and were headed towards the disturbance when the shooting occurred, Downtown Greensboro Inc. President Zack Matheny said. Matheny, a former Greensboro city councilman, said he — and by proxy, DGI — was integral to pulling together building owner Paul Talley and Zimmerman for the deal.
In the statement from DGI, Talley said “the needless loss of life is incomprehensible” and led to the “difficult decision” to sell the property and close the business immediately.
Matheny declined to elaborate on what Zimmerman might do with the building. Paul Talley couldn’t be reached for comment, but Zimmerman gave a few details via phone.
“My ass is going to work really hard to ensure that this deal goes through,” Zimmerman said. “You know, I’d love a music venue, a music venue/restaurant but I also have the idea for a city market idea. Check out 7th Street Market in Charlotte. Pretty damn neat concept… Have you been to Saxapahaw? That’s another kind of model that I’d like to try to mirror.”
But he won’t limit himself.
“In order for me to make the deal, I’ve got to fill the space,” Zimmerman said, adding that he’s open to other ideas for the building.
In the statement, Zimmerman said he expects to close on the property in November.
Zimmerman and Talley both serve as new members on the board of Downtown Greensboro Inc. Matheny is also new to the organization, having been there for approximately two months. Zimmerman said Matheny worked very hard to help the deal happen.