ACC moving to Charlotte, a legal fight at Charlotte Latin and new CEO at Charlotte history museum
A new headquarters is coming to uptown Charlotte. But it’s not a bank this time. The Atlantic Coast Conference this week announced it’s moving to the city from Greensboro, where it’s been for 70 years. That’s according to the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter. For more, WFAE's Marshall Terry talks to the Ledger’s Tony Mecia.
Marshall Terry: Tony, where exactly will the headquarters be located and how many employees will it have?
Tony Mecia: The ACC is going to have about 50 employees moving from Greensboro, and they're going to be located in the Bank of America Tower at Legacy Union, which is right by Bank of America Stadium there on what's now known as Brooklyn Village Avenue and Tryon Street.
Terry: OK, so it’s not that many people. So, why is it a big deal to have this in Charlotte? What does it mean for uptown and businesses?
Mecia: It's really more of a psychological thing — I think that really the massive economic impact. Charlotte very much likes having headquarters here. There are a lot of corporate headquarters that move here. Fifty people is not that great. But, you know, the ACC has a pretty big footprint along the East Coast. They have sporting events. They have video production facilities.
As part of the incentives that were promised by the state, the state this summer promised $15 million in incentives for the ACC to stay in North Carolina. The ACC is required to have tournaments in North Carolina. They already have a bunch of those, you know, basketball tournaments, baseball and football championship. So there are some economic advantages to sort of being in the good graces of the ACC.
In addition to the state incentives, there are also some local incentives of about $100,000, which is unusual for just 50 employees. But again, you know, there is a larger economic story there.
Terry: Is that why they settled on Charlotte than with the local incentives? Were there other reasons?
Mecia: I think it's a combination of things. I mean, they had incentives. And then, like other businesses that moved to Charlotte, they have access to an airport that has nonstop flights to a lot of places. That's very important, I think, for the ACC. And, you know, it's just Charlotte is just a bigger city, little more going on, more ability to host sporting events, a bigger workforce availability. So really, it's, I'm guessing, it's a number of different factors.
Terry: OK. So, moving on now to a story you’ve been following involving Charlotte Latin School, which is in a legal fight with the parents of two students the school kicked out. What’s going on?
Mecia: Yeah, this is the controversy that's been simmering at Charlotte Latin School for the last year or so. A group of parents was dissatisfied with the direction the school was heading and some of its curriculum changes related to diversity, equity and inclusion. They said some of those went too far or that Charlotte Latin was inappropriately injecting politics into the classroom.
They made those concerns known. One of the parents kept advocating his point of view, and the school kicked out two of his children because the dad of the school [students] said in his emails was being very demanding and accusatory. The issue was in court this week and Charlotte Latin for the first time laid out its perspective on the case saying that the parents were too demanding and that they weren't contributing to a positive collaborative approach to their children's education. And so, that's why it kicked them out. Charlotte Latin said it was within its rights to do so.
Terry: Shifting gears now. The Ledger recently sat down with the new president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History, Terri White. Tony, what did she say her plans are for the museum?
Mecia: Right. A lot of people might not know the site. It's in east Charlotte. It's one of the museums that sometimes doesn't get a lot of attention. She wants to change that. She wants to have the museum tell more of Charlotte's story. And, she said the complete story, inclusive stories, including exhibits about the Asian American community, the Latino community, the Black community.
As well as, she said, she would like to have an exhibit dedicated to the Carolina Panthers because the Panthers are going to be celebrating their 30th year in 2025. So, she'd like to tell more stories about Charlotte and raise the visibility of the Charlotte Museum of History.
Terry: I know with museums finances are often a challenge. Did she say anything about that?
Mecia: I think it is challenging for them. She said that they have a very small endowment, unlike a lot of big museums that have large resources there that they're able to spend. They don't have that. They depend on grants and sponsorships and individual donations. I think it's been challenging, but they're hoping to, at some point, have a capital campaign and turn the finances around.
Terry: Finally, the Ledger reports some iconic monuments in Ballantyne may have to be moved because of plans for a road widening there. What monuments?
Mecia: If you've ever driven into Ballanyine off of 485 and Johnson Road, you'll see these four big, 30-foot-tall clay monuments on the corner of Johnson Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway. They were put there in the mid-1990s. They were commissioned by the developer Johnny Harris, and they were built over three years by a Yugoslavian artist. And, the issue now is that the state wants to widen the road from four lanes to six, which if they do that they would make big improvements to that intersection and something would have to happen with those monuments. They would have to be moved and relocated.
So, there are some questions about what's going to happen to that. It is a few years away before they go into the right-of-way acquisition and construction. So they have a little bit of time to figure it out. But they were some of the first things that were built down in Ballantyne before the whole area was developed.
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