Downtown Greensboro Inc. working to get more housing downtown

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Build it and they will come, that’s what the president of Downtown Greensboro Inc. says would happen if more housing was built downtown.

Right now, around 2,700 people live downtown. Zack Matheny, the president of DGI, says he’d like to see that number closer to 5,000. To figure out what exactly the need is a housing feasibility study was done earlier this year.

"We have less than 1 percent of our population living downtown and through the study we've seen that at least 3 percent would like to live downtown," Matheny said.

Matheny said the study also shows that in the next year or two, downtown Greensboro could use around another 400 units for both sale and rent.

People we spoke with says what they’d like to see if some cheaper places.

"I think the new developments that are coming up here are more expensive," said Robert Campbell, who lives downtown.

Matheny says DGI is considering it all. He’s hoping to work with the city to use part of a $25 million housing bond to create affordable places to live.

"We've got a great opportunity," Matheny said.

Part of attracting developers requires the downtown Greensboro team to figure out where the best places to build are. A few of those places include the open lot on Gate City Boulevard and Elm Street, in front of an old mill. Another popular area is near the baseball field.

"Identifying large tracts of land and meet with developers to say, 'would you consider downtown?'"

Matheny said he’s going to talk to local developers first, then open the opportunity to invest here to everyone else.

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