Local and state dignitaries—including Gov. Roy Cooper*—gathered in downtown Greensboro to (finally) break ground on the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts:

The ceremony followed a special Greensboro City Council meeting Tuesday night, when the council voted 8-1 to spend up to $2.5 million on Phase 1 of the Tanger Center.

The work will include site excavation and utility preparation at the 5-acre property between North Elm Street and Summit Avenue.

Although that work was projected to begin next week, it won’t begin that soon.

That’s because as of Wednesday’s ceremony, the city hadn’t finished negotiating a contract that allows site work to proceed.

Coliseum Director Matt Brown, who will oversee the center, hadn’t settled on a “guaranteed maximum price” with Skanska Rentenbach, the project manager in charge of preconstruction services.

Brown–the city’s highest-paid employee—told the N&R he will present the guaranteed maximum price the remainder of the project at the Sept. 5 council meeting. But although the council had authorized $2.5 million–max– to begin site prep work, the N&R reports the city had not finished negotiating the contract to allow that work to begin. so Gboro residents don’t hold your breath waiting for the first act to take the stage at the Tanger Center.

Video of Gov. Cooper’s comments delted from original post due to obnoxious ads. If you really, really want to see Cooper’s comments click on the link to the N&R story.