Steven Tanger / Getty
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The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro announced yesterday that Steven B. Tanger has pledged a $7.5-million challenge gift for the planned new downtown performing arts center in Greensboro. The new center will now be named the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
Greensboro is a small city in North Carolina where Steven’s father, Stanley Tanger, founded the real estate company Tanger Factory Outlets Inc. in 1981 when he opened his first factory outlet mall in Burlinton North Carolina. Today the company has 35 such malls around the country operating in 24 states and in 2011 signed a deal with a local partner to open 15 more in Canada within seven years.
Stanley Tanger died in 2010 at the young age of 87, and was succeeded by his son Steven as President and CEO of the Tanger company. This pledge to Greensboro is purely a personal one, however, and does not come from his company.
The center’s new logo
Steven B. Tanger
The Community Foundation has now raised US$28 million in private pledges, including this new $7.5 million pledge from Steven Tanger which is also the largest yet for the new performing arts center. Steven Tanger has however made his pledge contingent on volunteer fundraisers raising their sights a little, by increasing their overall goal to US$35 million – and achieving it.
Tanger and his army of volunteers are confident that the US $35 million can now be raised to ensure that the first-rate, state-of-the-art new performing arts center, which will cost US$60 million in total, will indeed be built.
“I’m really overwhelmed by the generosity of this gift – this project is transformational for our city, ” Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins said. “The performing arts center is the largest public-private partnership in the history of Greensboro. The success of this fundraising effort demonstrates in a dramatic way how big projects in this town get done by leveraging public-private partnerships. This is a historic day for Greensboro, and one for which all Greensboro citizens should be proud.”
Ground is expected to be broken for the center next June, with an anticipated opening in 2016. The rest of the money will come from Greensboro itself, which plans to fund it through with the money coming from parking fees, a user fee on tickets and hotel taxes.
Private philanthropy, which acts as a resource multiplier for the combined public-private financing of projects that can add substantial amenities to the quality of life of all members who live in a community, does not happen only in the big cities and is a wonderful example of civic-mindedness at work on the ground, where it counts the most.
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