HIGH POINT, NC -- Due to the fallout of HB2, a company in High Point has paused its plans to spend $2 million to build an outdoor concert venue downtown.
Scott Eckman, President of Leasing with International Market Centers, says they want to transform the parking lot at the corner of Wrenn and Commerce Streets into a 4,000 seat amphitheater that would be open year-round.
But due to the uncertainty of HB-2, and the five bills filed to repeal it, Eckman says the company had to put their plans on hold.
"We are excited about the potential of the venue but right now, we need an answer,” said Eckman. “Nobody's going to get that answer until there's a little more certainty around HB2 and the impact of HB2, good or bad."
Eckman says the company has been working with concert promoters on a feasibility study for the proposed outdoor concert venue.
But a few weeks into the planning process, the bathroom bill became law.
Since then, we’ve seen numerous sporting events and performers cancel their events in North Carolina.
Eckman says the company doesn't want to build a venue that will sit idol.
"We don't want to build this venue if there's not a demand for the venue. Our point is to build something that brings people into town and creates an economic driver to downtown High Point,” said Eckman. “Until we are at the point where we can do the work to really find out what the true demand is, it's just a concept."
Officials tell us HB2 is one of the reasons why a manufacturer picked Atlanta over High Point last summer to invest $60 million in a high-tech factory.
That deal would have created 200 more jobs in High Point.
Governor Roy Cooper was in Greensboro on Thursday.
He says it’s reasons like these that HB2 is hurting the state economically.
"North Carolina has been an admired state and seen as a beacon in the south. But it's clear that house bill two has stained that reputation,” said Cooper. “It's clear that it is hurting our economic improvement, it's clear that it's keeping away sporting events and other events from our state."
Cooper says lawmakers are working on a bill they can pass to repeal HB2.
But Cooper says the problem is both sides are reluctant to compromise.
Cooper says the latest proposal to repeal HB2, House Bill 186, simply doesn't have the votes to pass.
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