East Greensboro investments could help bring change to troubled area

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The need to improve east Greensboro can be summed up in a few words that city councilman Jamal Fox has heard said to him too many times.

“We don’t want people to say, ‘I don’t want to go to that side of town,’” said Fox during a town hall meeting held for District 2 residents Tuesday night.

Fox focused on economic investments made by the city to help create jobs and positive buzz for the area. That includes a $387,500 investment in Revolution Mill that will help allow the brewing company Natty Greene’s to relocate to Yanceyville Street and spend more than $14 million dollars in revitalization. The project is expected to add 27 jobs.

Fox also brought up the renovation of the old Kmart building. The city has approved $102,000 which would allow National Distribution Center to move in and create 80 jobs by late 2018.

“I think they have made progress,” said Cameron Falkener, a Greensboro native who attended the meeting. “I think the attention is on east Greensboro but I think we really need to bear down -- all of us together in this -- we need to bear down.”

Fox brought up city crime stats which show an increase in most major crimes from 2014 to 2015 but also told the crowd that a shift in police strategy to neighborhood oriented policing should help attack the problem.

Falkener said it will take more than just police working on the problem for conditions to truly improve in east Greensboro.

“It’s important because it’s a quality of life thing,” said Falkener. “I think that if you even the playing field by having things to do, places to go then this area really thrives and also the city thrives as a result of that.”

Fox said moving forward he’s focused on improving five key areas -- E. Market St., Cone Blvd./Highway 29, Bessemer Ave./Summit Ave., Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. and S. Elm St. -- to help encourage new businesses to move in.

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