Closings and delays

Downtown Greensboro Inc. working to fill empty storefronts

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- There is no denying downtown Greensboro is growing, but it still needs plenty of work. There are several vacant buildings in the area. Downtown Greensboro Incorporated says it is trying to change that.

Zack Matheny, the president of DGI, says the key to filling spaces is creating trust and a relationship between the owner and possible tenants.

One way to do that is by creating a pop-up shop.

“It is a way for the tenant to test the community and for the owner to test the tenant,” Matheny said.

On Wednesday, DGI announced Wrangler would be opening a pop-up shop in downtown Greensboro. Matheny says the building it will be in has been vacant for about 10 years.

Hilary Clement and Friends Art Studio opened as a pop-up shop on the corner of Elm and Washington streets in November. The space was vacant for about a year.

“The direct route to my studio that I pass every day is Washington Street,” Clement said. “I would look at this building on the corner and I would think we need to put some art in that building.”

Clements store will be open for two months.

“I’m kind of testing the waters,” Clement said.

Matheny says the goal is to make these pop-up shops so popular that the tenant decides to stay permanently.

Matheny says DGI is also getting people to paint the windows on some places that are vacant so they look nicer for people walking by.