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Office or Residential in Downtown Greensboro?

Office or Residential in Downtown Greensboro?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. In your opinion, does Downtown Greensboro need more Office or more Residential?

    • Office
      1
    • Residential
      1
    • Both, but leaning towards Office
      5
    • Both, but leaning towards Residential
      3


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I picked both, but think residential is much more important at this point. A bigger full-time population will support greater activity 24/7, as well as a more diverse array of restaurants, retail, and other neighborhood amenities. If downtown’s residential population were to double or triple, it would be a noticeably more vibrant area.

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Both are needed, but residents are badly needed and IMO the demand is there (which I wouldn't have believed until my Dad tried to get a place there). You can hardly find a place to rent and for the few places that are available, the rent is outrageous. A decent place will run $900/month for a  1 bed 1 bath.

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Interesting points regarding residential @HRVT and @jthomas. Like @cityboi, I was leaning towards office,  thinking that would drive more companies to locate downtown and hopefully attract a younger employee base to "live, work, & play" downtown, but then again, they need a place to actually live! The Carroll South of Ballpark project should bring a good mix of both. 

Regarding Office, do you see existing Greensboro companies relocating downtown from Lake Jeannette, Friendly, and other areas of town?  Or is Greensboro set up to attract new companies from other parts of the Triad/State?

Edited by CREGSO

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I would love to see companies who are already in town relocate to downtown. There will always be a market for suburban office, but it is a shame that more of Greensboro's big employers aren't in the center city.  I think downtown is currently at a bit of a competitive disadvantage. The geographic center of Greensboro is actually Friendly Center, not downtown. And the airport and Lake Jeannette areas are much closer to the affluent northwest suburbs, making those areas more attractive for white collar workers.

I think there are a couple of strategies that can tilt the balance in downtown's favor. First, as I mentioned above, invest heavily in residential right now, in order to make it a more complete district of the city.  This is the approach that has worked in South End in Charlotte. Residential came first, and now that it has hit a critical mass, office space is taking off - several of the towers proposed there would be the tallest in downtown Greensboro.

The second strategy follows closely after the first. Suburban office locations will always be more convenient via automobile than downtown. Downtown can't compete with this, nor should it try. In fact, the more successful downtown is at turning into an urban district, the more difficult it will be to drive there.  Transit investment is needed now, and also in the future, to ensure mobility within the core and access to it from outside.

I don't see Greensboro winning any major corporate relocations in the near term. We know Greensboro is a great city, but regional peers have big advantages in transportation (CLT airport) and established business sectors (Charlotte - banking, Triangle - tech, etc.). There is no concrete plan for this to happen right now, but true high speed rail serving Greensboro would be a game-changer. With travel times on the order of 45 minutes to Charlotte and Raleigh and 2.5 hours to Atlanta and DC, the equation would change tremendously. It would be feasible to commute to the other NC cities, and the competitive disadvantage caused by the relative lack of flights at PTI would be lessened. Greensboro's livability and compact size relative to peers would also become more of a selling point to individuals and companies looking to relocate.

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That all makes sense @jthomas especially in regards to Transit. Even Raleigh is still trying to figure that one out...

It seems to me that a lot of the larger employers in GSO are either Manufacturing or Aeronautical and  have a need for industrial flex space (as opposed to downtown corporate office) similar to what you see around the airport (Volvo/Mack, Syngenta). That said, there are still a number of mid-size companies taking up 10k, 15k, even 25k-30k sqft of office in the suburbs. The Brooks Group is an example of a mid-size company that recently relocated from Lake Jeannette to 301 N Elm.

"It will be designed to sustain the growth we are experiencing," Brooks told TBJ. "We're excited to be part of the downtown Greensboro community, and to be more engaged in where our team lives and plays," he said. "This will give our team access to restaurants and make a better impression on our clients -- everything will be right here. Downtown provides the right image for us."

https://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2018/10/03/triad-based-training-company-will-move-to-downtown.html?iana=cp_news_link

Edited by CREGSO
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Greensboro has solid roots in the insurance sector. I think if city leaders push harder in that direction we would see more office development downtown.  We may not have banks but we do have insurance companies. I think leaders should try attract those kind of companies here and push for the city to become a major southern hub in the insurance sector like Charlotte is a major banking hub. 

Edited by cityboi
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I think continued office development is important as it drives residential and everything else.  I agree insurance is an area that Greensboro should be more agressive at and I do think the Tanger Center is going be great for downtown GSO and will lead to more residential.  

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Downtown Greensboro continues to move in the right direction, It has been a steady pace, But more companies are relocating more jobs downtown.

Most notable relocations.

LEE , Relocated from Kansas during the VF split Which created Kontoor Brands, Centric brands relocated from NY and moved into the North end of downtown, The Brooks Group relocated from lake Jeanette to 301 elm, altair knowledge works relocated from the airport area, Charles Aris INC relocated from the airport area, the Fresh Market is looking to move into current Wells Fargo tower, Arch Capital Mortgage relocated into the renaissance plaza.

 

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