Crescent getting creative with old Goodyear store

Crescent Communities is planning to demolish the former Goodyear auto store at Stonewall and South Tryon streets, and build a new office tower in its place. But until then, Crescent is getting creative with the store that used to fix cars and change oil for uptown workers.

A reader recently asked me why a worker was inside the store Tuesday, painting and touching up the interior. That didn’t seem to make a lot of sense for a building soon to be demolished for a 27-story office tower. So I asked Brian Leary, Crescent’s president of commercial and mixed-use development, what the company’s plans are for the store.

Leary said Crescent is temporarily repurposing the space for “TedX-style” talks, referring to offshoots of the short, upbeat Ted Talk lectures that highlight different issues and “ideas worth spreading.”

Crescent has sent out invitations for a first event later this month to talk about the company’s plans to transform the Stonewall Street corridor, complete with “art and passion.” Down the block, Crescent is also planning a Whole Foods-anchored apartment and hotel development to open in 2017.

“We’re really interested in igniting the conversation,” said Leary.

Crescent is planning to start site work such as utility relocation and then begin full-blown construction this year at the Tryon Place office tower site. So, if all goes according to plan, the retooled Goodyear store won’t become a fixture uptown.

“We’re going to tear it down sooner rather than later,” said Leary.

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Twitter: @ESPortillo