Recall that the property in question for the Friendly Avenue rezoning controversy is owned by Glenn Drew. He is the nephew of Maurice Sabbah, the gentleman who funded the development of the American Hebrew Academy school and property at the intersection of Hobbs Rd. and Jefferson Road in Greensboro. Mr. Drew apparently purchased the Friendly Avenue property from the late Sabbah’s daughter.
Mr. Drew has proposed a dense multifamily development at the site; and the group Preserve Friendly Avenue is taking him to task. Specifically, they are calling into question his character and business ethics. A blog article by Nicky Smith lays out the details.
Recall that Drew was the CEO of the American Hebrew Academy. It turns out that he drew an annual salary of $700,000 from the school even though it was never successful. That exposes the school as a nepotism racket.
But recall that Sabbah had been sued because he had a reinsurance company and had used clients’ premiums to bankroll the development of the school. After 9/11, his company was unable to pay insurance claims because of this. He had therefore defrauded his clients.
But Ms. Smith notes other factors about Mr. Drew:
- Drew was apparently involved with Sabbah’s reinsurance company, and questions are therefore raised as to whether he was a party to the fraud that was perpetrated against its customers– i.e., its premium payers;
- He had a consulting company that provided services to the Chinese company that took over the school, and that received large amounts of money from the Chinese company in connection with the school’s closure;
- The school received two large Covid-related Payroll Protection Program “loans” from the federal government even though it was mostly closed, and had few active employees. It is questioned whether the money from the federal government might have flowed to the Chinese company somehow.
Now, the old Hebrew school is supposedly being used as a facility for illegal immigrants. That change was facilitated by Congresswoman Kathy Manning– a woman who is part of the same local Jewish community as Sabbah and Drew.
That is the background for the proposal that the city of Greensboro will soon be evaluating.