That hip new building downtown? It’s (another) church



by Eric Ginsburg

There’s a new kid on the block, and it looks a lot like its neighbor.

The ongoing renovations at 421 W. Smith St. echo those recently completed for Crafted: the Art of Street Food and Preyer Brewing around the corner on the northern side of downtown Greensboro. A similar paint color, the same style of exposed, unfinished wood beams on the exterior. But this building isn’t undergoing a facelift to house a forthcoming hip restaurant or brewpub. In fact, the new tenant is pretty similar to the old one.

SONY DSCCenter City Church, whose building was demolished as part of developer Roy Carroll’s Bellemeade Village project, is moving into the building after temporarily holding its meetings at the downtown Marriott, said Vernon Powell, the registered agent for building owner Roseland Investment.

The church is taking over the remaining 18-month lease from Christ Church, the former tenant, which outgrew the space and is relocating to another downtown property several blocks east. Center City Church is responsible for the renovations, he said.

SONY DSCRoseland also owns the adjacent 422 and 424 Edgeworth Street properties, and does have long-term designs for the area “for office space with maybe a high-end restaurant on the ground floor or something like that,” Powell said.

“The site is certainly targeted to be developed,” he said. “The economy will dictate the timing of that.”

But for now, it’s existing downtown churches playing musical chairs.