Friendly Shopping Center

  • 1957: Starmount builds the shopping center designed by Greensboro architects McMinn, Norfleet & Wicker on Starmount Farms property once owned by Edward and Blanche Benjamin. Opened with14 businesses with 150,000 square feet of retail space.
  • 1976: Shops at Forum VI opens with 220,000 total square feet; 126,000 square feet of retail space and 19 stores.
  • 1984: Starmount closes Green Valley golf course and converted the fairways and greens into an office park on one side of Benjamin Parkway and additional retail and green space for the shopping center on the other side.
  • 1994: F.W. Woolworth Store is bulldozed to make room for the new Belk and expansion of Hecht's department store.
  • 1995: Greensboro Zoning Commission votes to rezone a grassy 8 1/2-acre tract at Green Valley Road and Benjamin Parkway from general office to shopping center usage.
  • 1995: New 61,561-square-foot Harris Teeter store opened. Starmount stops paying the mortgage on the Forum VI, forcing the building into foreclosure.
  • 1996: Barnes & Noble opened 30,000-square-foot book superstore. · 1997: New 140,000-square-foot, $11.2 million Belk store opened.
  • 1998: Forum VI renovations are completed for an upscale office space called Signature Place.
  • 2004: Starmount Co. announces plans to demolish the landmark headquarters building and plans to create retail, residential and office community.
  • 2006: The Shops at Friendly Center opens with 300,000 square feet of upscale shops and restaurants. New merchants include Brooks Brothers, Coldwater Creek and REI.
  • 2007: Starmount Co. sells Friendly Center to CBL & Associates Properties.
  • Jan. 2012:Florida-based developer Regency Centers publicly unveiled its designs for a proposed shopping center at West Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road
  • 2013: CBL & Associates began negotiations to buy property near the 600 block of Green Valley Road to make way for more retail shopping space across from the Friendly Center complex. The Friendly Coalition steering committee opposed the proposed shopping center.
  • 2013: The Friendly Center and the Shops at Friendly Center underwent renovations. The $8 million project included building facade work, landscaping, painting and new benches, trash cans and new lighting, signage and sound system
  • 2014: West Friendly residents protest the planned shopping center that would include a Trader Joe's and a drugstore on 7 acres between the First Lutheran Church and the Shoppes at Friendly Center.
  • Oct. 2014: Belk completed a $9 million upgrade of its main store and built a 29,000-square-foot home store.
  • Jan 2015: An Atlanta developer asked the Zoning Commission to rezone 6.77 acres from residential to retail use for a shopping center that would include a grocery store and smaller retail shops.

Compiled by Diane Lamb News & Record researcher

Source: News & Record archive

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