High Point hopes to mirror Greensboro stadium success

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Millions of dollars’ worth of development have gone up around the baseball stadium in Greensboro since it first opened in 2005. Now, the City of High Point is hoping to mirror that success with its own stadium in the works that could open by 2019.

Since the opening of First National Bank Field in 2005, several businesses have opened in the area, like restaurants, breweries and luxury apartments. Right now, there is a $60 million project, that includes a hotel, being built on North Eugene Street.

Jim Jones is the co-owner of Joymongers Brewing Co. and Greenway Apartments.

“We were selling Chevrolets next to the ballpark and we realized very early that it was going to be a driver in downtown development on the northwest side so it gave us an opportunity to do something that took advantage of the property,” Jones said.

Zack Matheny, the executive director of Downtown Greensboro Incorporated, says an additional $150 million worth of development in that area is being discussed.

Matheny says the ballpark has a lot to do with the success.

“It has brought over 500,000 people a year into downtown,” Matheny said. “We used to have kind of a one street downtown, Elm Street. When the ballpark came, we got a little slow down because of the recession but now it's really widened our downtown.”

FOX8 spoke with Randy Hemann, the assistant city manager in High Point, earlier this week. Hemann said that city is expecting at least $99 million worth of development near their future stadium site in the next 10 years or so.

One of the main people behind the High Point project is Ray Gibbs, the executive director of Forward High Point. He told FOX8 he was a part of the team that helped the stadium in Greensboro be built in 2005 and now he’s doing that in High Point.