The Proximity Hotel
& Print Works Bistro

704 Green Valley Rd, Greensboro, NC

Proximity Hotel & Print Works Bistro

The hotel and restaurant are named after the Proximity Manufacturing Cotton Mill (1896) and Proximity Print Works Mill (1912), which are central to Greensboro’s rich textile history.

The hotel features 7,000 square feet of private event space, a spacious fitness studio, outdoor swimming pool, and a “guest living room” on each floor. Proximity’s oversized guest rooms and suites have 50 square-foot windows, custom furnishings, high definition television, Magi beds and signature bathrooms.


Size of Hotel

102,754 total Sq. Ft. with 147 Guestrooms, 8-story 5,000 Sq. Ft. of conference and event space.

Size of Restaurant

8,360 Sq. Ft. with 144 seats (dining); 80 seats (bar).


Dennis Quaintance, Chief Design Officer and President – Quaintance – Weaver Restaurants and Hotels.


704 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro, NC.

Project Timeline

  • Contract for Architectural Services – Feb 2005.
  • Open for business November 2008.
  • LEED Platinum / U.S. Green Building Council (USGB) Ceremony, Nov 10, 2008.

Architecture Team & Design Plan Process

Goals:  The goal was to create a boutique hotel in a textile factory recreating the historic past of Greensboro and its mill heritage.  The client was unable to locate a mill that met budget and program requirements.  Instead, we considered the essence of a mill and its characteristics.  The client expressed that the project and its elements were in his head; it was our job to pull them out.  The Proximity Hotel is the fruition of that vision—providing “a glimpse of the future while celebrating the past”.  The project was conceived in the very early days of the boutique hotel startups.  The client had traveled extensively to see the offerings available and how to distinguish this property from others.

A second goal was to create a building that would eventually be listed on the Historic Register and last 100+ years.   The client wanted it to become part of the history of Greensboro.

Another primary goal was to pursue LEED certification.  In 2005, this represented a new measurement tool and goal created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with few individuals certified to guide a project through the approval process.

Design Considerations: Achieved LEED Platinum certification following through with the goal of achieving energy leadership and stringent goals.  “The hotel’s high level of environmental performance was not initially a goal,” says owner and developer Dennis Quaintance, “but stemmed from making practical decisions with an eye for long-term value. Almost every time we made a decision, we saw that there was a sustainable approach that was also practical.”

As a first and significant piece of architecture in Greensboro, it is projected to be recognized as a historic landmark for the City of Greensboro.


Key Results:

  1. Followed the guidelines of the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
  1. Attained the USGBC’s highest LEED Platinum rating. Recognized as the first LEED Platinum- hotel and restaurant in North America.  Both still remain as one of four in North America.
  1. Used ultra-efficient materials and latest in building technology. Recognized as North America’s first installation of the regenerative drive for Otis’ Gen2 elevator that reduces net energy usage by capturing the system’s energy, and feeds it back into the building’s internal electrical grid.
  1. Installed 100 solar panels on roof to generate energy supplementing water-heating.
  1. Generated extreme energy savings: 39% less energy usage than a comparable hotel; geothermal system for the kitchen walk-in units.
  1. Incorporated 70+ LEED measures.

User details: 

  1. Reduced the cost of utilities. The energy performance of the Proximity Hotel begins with demand reductions. A well-insulated building envelope and high-performance, operable windows reduce heating and cooling needs. Regenerative-drive elevators generate electricity as they descend, providing much of the energy needed for ascent.  Overall, the hotel uses 39% less energy than a similar hotel constructed to code.
  1. Installed variable-speed vent hoods in the kitchen of the Print Works Bistro that adjust to meet the ventilation needs of the space, typically operating at only 25 percent of their full capacity. Ventilation and refrigeration needs typically make most kitchens energy hogs.
  1. Installed energy-efficient ground-source, heat-pump refrigeration system versus a standard one that exchanges waste heat with groundwater loops.
  1. Installed low-flow toilets that use 1.2 gallons per flush; waterless urinals; and, low-flow faucets—all contributing to 33% less water usage than a comparable hotel building.
  1. Installed solar thermal panels on the roof that provide 60 percent of the hotel’s water heating needs.
  1. Projected client estimates and savings:
  • Environmental goals costs (added between $1.5 and $2 million to budget) offset by;
  • Payback on Green strategies under 4 years;
  • Water savings of $13,000 in first year of operation;
  • Overall utility savings expected at $140,000 / year.


Architect: Centrepoint Architecture (Olive Architecture’s Tom Murphy, as past principal architect for Centrepoint Architecture, designed the Proximity Hotel.)

 General contractor: Weaver Cooke Construction

Interior design: Bradshaw Orrell Interiors Designer and artist: Douglas Freeman Artworks

Artist in residence: Chip Holton

Mechanical engineer & contractor: Superior Mechanical, Inc.

Electrical contractor: Johnsons Modern Electric Company

Landscape architect: Callaway & Associates

Photograph Courtesy of: Mark File/Proximity Hotel

Other details:

Total Project Cost: $28 million Cost Per Square Foot: $275

Links to Print Works Bistro:

Media link to Proximity Hotel: