A look at downtown Greensboro’s new projects, long-term goals

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Downtown Greensboro has seen major growth, but to really make the area boom some improvements are needed. Today we came across a new project popping up on the corner of Elm Street and Gate City Boulevard.

Pop-up parking.

Anyone coming to the south end of downtown is going to have an easier time parking in the next few weeks. The empty lot across from the Union Square Campus is going to be transformed into temporary parking.

The plan there is temporary, but there are plenty of permanent projects taking place downtown and some very big goals for the future.

“I've been told that 20 years ago you might've seen tumbleweeds blowing through downtown,” said Zack Matheny, the president of Downtown Greensboro Incorporated. “It's gone from tumbleweeds, to a lot of vibrancy, a lot of activity. Downtown Greensboro has grown tremendously.”

A few of the major projects in the works include three new hotels, two new parking deck and a brand-new nine-story office building at the baseball stadium.

Even though things are going well, Matheny says they need to get better.

“We’ve got 45,000 college and university students in our area,” Matheny said. “They want to work in urban environments. We’ve got to fill our inventory to give them the option to live and work where they want to live and work.”

Matheny says his organization’s goal is to get 1,000 housing units and 3,000 jobs downtown in the next five years.

“It’s ambitious but we can do it,” Matheny said.

His team has already picked out a few prime spots available for developers, like where the News & Record building currently sits.

Now, they’ve got to get people to invest.

“In less than eight years millennials are going to be 75% of the workforce,” Matheny said. “Companies have got to understand that.”

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