County approves $600,000 for purchase of Budget Inn

Last week the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved a $600,000 loan that would help with the construction of affordable housing at the current site of the Budget Inn.

County approves $600,000 for purchase of Budget Inn
May 02
08:41 2019

Last week the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved a $600,000 loan that would help with the construction of affordable housing at the current site of the Budget Inn on Peters Creek Parkway.

Discussions on redeveloping the four-acre property into a 60-unit apartment building have been going on for a few years. In 2017 the Peters Creek Community Initiative (PCCI), a subsidiary of the Shalom Project at Green Street Church, conducted a feasibility study on the lot, which contains the Budget Inn and a former car dealership.

In May 2018 the Winston-Salem City Council approved rezoning of the property located at the intersection of West Academy Street and Peters Creek Parkway, and in September of that same year the city approved giving $600,000 to PCCI to help with the acquisition of the Budget Inn.

The city’s funds were contingent on PCCI getting another $600,000 to purchase the $1.2 million property and the necessary funds to demolish the hotel. Now with the loan approved by the county, PCCI can move forward with the project.

According to Eileen Ayuso, executive director of the Shalom Project, they are expected to finalize the sale on April 30.

“The closing date is scheduled for April 30, no later than May 8,” Ayuso said.

Plans for the new apartment building show 54 of the 60 units will be targeted toward low-income working families. The finished product will also include retail spaces and the Shalom Project headquarters, which provides services such as a free medical clinic, pharmacy, and food pantry. When asked about units for low-income families, Ayuso said certain wording in the resolution will ensure they are providing housing for those who need it most. She said, “The resolution has within it a line that says it has to be affordable to low-income housing for up to 50 years.”

When it came time to vote, Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt said she wouldn’t support the approval of the loan because the county has never participated in providing housing and shouldn’t start now. She said, “Each arm of the government has different functions. The city here is a different function from the county. The city does participate in housing, but never has the county participated in housing.

“What the county does do is build schools and libraries and I think we do a good job with that and I’m just not willing to start a new function that we’ve never participated in.”

Commissioner Tonya McDaniel voted ‘No’ on the matter as well. She said she didn’t feel now was the right time for the project.

“I just feel like it’s not the right time, the right season, and the right reason for this project. We have not completely vetted this out; every week it’s something that’s come up,” she said. “I thank Gordon, our attorney, for the information he’s given, but I can’t with good conscience and listening to my community, I cannot.”

In the end the motion passed 4-3. Whisenhunt, McDaniel and Commissioner Richard Linville voted against the approval of the loan.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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