UPDATE: SG Atkins CDC's role in redevelopment of Union Station

The role of the SG Atkins Community Development Corp. in the redevelopment of Union Station has emerged as a matter of some controversy in Winston-Salem.

Harvey Davis, the former owner who is being evicted through eminent domain, predicted after a city council meeting last night that the CDC would end up in control of the facility. But Carol Davis, executive director of the community development corporation, said her organization would have to compete in request for proposals issued by the city.

The CDC's longstanding interest in the historic train station, which is located near Winston-Salem State University, is clear. The CDC was established in 1998 by the university "to be a catalyst for revitalization in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus," according to a document submitted to the city by the CDC. Carol Davis, the CDC's executive director, urged the council last night to deny a request by Harvey Davis for a lease extension. "It's just going to be difficult for economic development to pick up along [the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive] corridor without that site being addressed," she said. "Multimodal transportation is definitely coming for that purpose that will draw further economic development around the area. That's what we're looking forward to."

Notwithstanding Carol Davis' statement that her organization will have to openly compete for the opportunity to lead the redevelopment of Union Station, a draft memorandum of understanding (link) submitted to the city articulates the role the CDC envisions for itself:

[Excerpt below the jump]
The responsibilities described below are intended to identify the lead organization for the respective activity. Both parties recognize the importance of engaging in ongoing communications throughout the development process in order to fully utilize the strengths that each organization brings to this initiative. In addition, both SGA-CDC and the city will jointly make the go/no-go decision for the project.

SGA-CDC shall undertake the following activities:

• Identification of key private, public and philanthropic stakeholders at the local, state or national level who may further the development including the provision of of equity, loans, grants and subsidies;

• Identify and secure human resources from Winston-Salem State University and others appropriate to the development and not inconsistent with the MOU between WSSU and SGA-CDC and current support provided;

• Provide for the city's review an organizational/contractual structure and redevelopment plan and budget for the transformation of Union Station into a mixed-use transportation hub.

The city shall undertake the following activities:

• Conduct all necessary due diligence needed to determine organizational/contractual project viability;

• Provide information on approvals necessary to carry out the development;

• Work exclusively with SGA-CDC on project viability; and

• Support approval of a development contract/structure, if viable.

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