Downtown Greensboro has attracted development investment in recent years with such new construction as First National Bank Field, residential construction, and offices. The Southside neighborhood downtown exemplifies central-city reinvestment. The formerly economically depressed neighborhood has been redeveloped as an award-winning neotraditional-style neighborhood featuring walkability, compact blocks and local amenities and services. Downtown Greensboro has an active nightlife with numerous nightclubs, bars and restaurants.
The redevelopment of the downtown was stimulated by the 2006 opening of the Elon University School of Law. The law school is credited with attracting student dollars to the downtown both day and night.
Many people dream of living in downtown Greensboro, yet there is little available at market rates. Though affordable housing projects have popped up around downtown, they often require subsidies or tax credits to be financially accessible for lower income individuals or families. With most new development occurring on the outskirts of town (especially in West Greensboro), many wonder when we will see a transformation like that which occurred in historic Fourth Ward (downtown). The answer: TOD (Transit Oriented Development). We can Elon Musk and his Hyperloop proposal (while still longing for high speed rail), but Elon is far off the radar. TODs are closer than you think, and they may be coming to Greensboro sooner than anyone expects!
There are several TODs which could occur throughout North Carolina, but this post will focus on one near (or within) Greensboro city limits. The proposed site of the project is north of downtown Greensboro, where the Norfolk-Southern Railroad divides. Norfolk has long left their railyard in northern Greensboro behind; however, there was also much industry along Washington St/US 29 which made its home near the railroad tracks. This proposal involves reusing portions of these old warehouses as well converting other nearby buildings into retail/residential/office space.
The plan involves using properties within the block bounded by Washington, Academy, Broad and Lewis Streets. As seen below, this would create a street grid which looks much like downtown Greensboro did when it was first planned in 1795 (the city’s namesake).