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jervais

Triad eventually being the largest metro in NC

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I believe that the Triad will eventually outgrow the Triangle and the Charlotte area. We are in the center of both and our metro population is already larger than the Triangles according to emporis.com. I find it interesting how the triad is somewhat overlooked often as having the potential of being larger than both. In the four years that I've been here the growth has been amazing. I would like to get others opinions on this.

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Yes, the Triad has long been a "sleeper". The cities have traditionally cooperated a little better than Charlotte/Gastonia.

I'm kind of impressed with Greensboro's slow but persistent efforts to improve it's run down areas. Winston may have some trouble with the loss of jobs from RJR, but it's still kicking and has an active downtown at night. High point is growing all over the place-- county lines be damned!

The satellite cities-- Stokesdale, Kernersville, Pleasant Garden, Browns Summitt have come out of nowhere and may become the "Carys" of 2020.

The area has highway access to everywhere. If Burlington cooperates, plenty of water, too. And you can buy more house for the money than you can in Mecklenburg or Wake counties.

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When I was moving back to NC a little while back I noticed through my browsing that apts were cheaper in the Triad then the Triangle, in most cases you can get more apt/newer apt for your money...oh well too late to move now :-p

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Well the triad metro has been larger than the triangle for some time now, right? i was under the impression that RDU was closing that gap and though the triad is growing pretty quickly its not growing as fast as RDU. But unless Raleigh stops being so sprawly with its new development, i think the triad has the potential to be the most varied and interesting metro area in NC.

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The cities have traditionally cooperated a little better than Charlotte/Gastonia.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I really have to disagree.

First, W-S and GSO have never cooperated in my mind. They are always fighting to be the "top city" of the Triad.

They don't even have a unified "voice"....I really think the first step that needs to happen is for the W-S Journal and GSO News and Record to combine into a single paper that advoates for the entire metro area.

They need a single transit system to unite the area as another step.

The cities of the Triangle are cooperating much more than the Triad.

Charlotte and Gastonia (or any other suburb in Metro Charlotte) have no real reason to cooperate with each other. The cooperation between Charlotte and its suburbs would make life easier (transit, growth), but because Charlotte is so large...it has the influence and doesn't need to cooperate.

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The Triad is a sleeping giant. In many way the Triad is eqaul to the Triangle. The only real big difference is that the Triangle has alot of research companies. I think its more of an image thing. Thats why the Triad is not on the national radar like Charlotte and Raleigh. The Triad really isnt as far behind as people make it out to be. I think the Triad has great potential to outshine the Trinagle and Charlotte one day. 40 years ago the Triad was the economic engine of the state due to its location. I think the Triad can achieve that status again. The Triad is beginning to make its transportation and geographical strengths work for a 21st century economy. The Triad is now laying the seed for a prosperous future that can go far beyond the Triangle and maybe over a number of decades, beyond Charlotte. Its not impossible. We are seeing the groundwork being laid today with the growing interstate freeway transportation network with I-73, I-74 and I-785. Highways that will take you in all directions across the country will converge in Greensboro unlike Raleigh or Charlotte. The FedEx hub at PTI Airport will open up new doors and oppertunities for the Triad. It has already served as a magnet for attracting Dell to the region and the hub isnt even built yet. Research and technology industries are gaining momentum in the region and in terms of research jobs, the Triad has more of them than the Charlotte area does. In some ways the Triad has already surpassed Charlotte. We are seeing the rebirths of the Triad's downtowns. Greensboro and Winston-Salem have just as many downtown plans and proposals as Charlotte. I think once I-785 is complete all the way to Washington DC, it will hurt the Triangle because I-785 will be a short cut route between Washington DC and Atlanta. I-785 will be an interstate route between Greensboro and Washington and will bypass the Triangle all together which means less out of state traffic traveling through the Triangle. This will obviously give the Triad an edge when attracting new companies that want to be located on "high traffic" or "high visibilty" corridors. The Triad will be looked at as "new" and "fresh" territory once the Charlotte and Raleigh markets become over saturated. The Triad has great potential but I think the biggest hurdle for the Triad is changing its image. Beleive it or not, image can make or break a city or region. The Triad has to develope a more cosmopolitan image and less of a blue collar manufacturing image.

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I'll grant you that Raleigh/Durham have cooperated better than W-S and Greensboro. RDU and Research Triangle being the best examples. Greensboro and Winston Salem tried to build a large recreational park once at the county border, but could not get it together.

But I just don't think W-S has been as defensive over the years as Gastonia has been to Charlotte. It's been more like W-S and Greensboro competing, and both trying to grab the ring at times.

I was kind of amused to see the hand-wringing in the paper a few months ago about "Is Charlotte cool? Are we attracting the creative class?" It sounded so..... Greensboro-ish! :D Greensboro has spent the last 20 years obsessing over "How can we make this place trendy? How can we keep the young people here?" I thought Charlotteans had more confidence than that.

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As long as the growth rate remains significantly lower in the Triad as compared to CLT and RDU, simple mathmatics says it will never overtake these two regions.

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I don't see the Triangle's growth rate coming to a halt or slowing down significantly in the near future. Same thing with Charlotte. Growth may start to increase more rapidly in the Triad soon due to all of the interstates being built there as well as Dell and Fed Ex but the Triad needs to carve a nitch out for itself in NC. Hopefully the interstates won't bring just a bunch of fast food places and gas stations for the people driving through...Remember that just b/c and interstate intersects another interstate doesn't mean that growth will automatically occur there. Several examples in NC that pop into my head are the junction of I-40 and I-95 in Benson (Johnston County), as well as I-40 and I-85 in Hillsborough (Orange County). I'm not familiar enough with interstates farther west in NC to comment there....I'm sure the interstates will be a good marketing tool for the Triad though...

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I think the big difference between the intersection of I-40/I-95 and the interstate intersections in Greensboro is that I-95/I-40 is not located in a populated city with services, businesses and an international airport within a 10 mile radius of the intersection. I dont think Raleigh's Growth will slow down anytime soon but the Triad growth will speed up. One day the Triad could grow more rapidly than the Triangle and Charlotte. Right now thats not the case but FedEx has not been built yet and the new interstate corridors are in the beginining stages of being developed. I-785 from Greensboro to Danville should be a reality in the near future but it could be 10 to 15 years before its complete to Washington. A big portion of the route is using existing roads and highways. Its just a matter of upgrading them to interstate standards. That corridor should help increase the growth rate of cities like Danville, VA and Lynchburg, VA.

I think the Triad has found its niche. There are two big areas. Biotech manufactoring, which is a sector of the biotech industry that the Triangle has neglected. Other hitech manufacturing would also be included. The second big area is the design related industry that would include white collar firms. One reason why the Triad would make a great fit for design realated industries is becasue of its well established artsy culture and strong university art and interior design programs at Universities such as UNC-Greensboro and the North Carolina School of the Arts. There is also an effort under way in creating a National Design Institute in the Triad. Its an industry that will help attract the creative class and create a more cosmopolitan image for the region. The design industry would also contribute in to producing more interesting architecture in the region. A park in the middle of the Triad can be built for these design firms much like research firms in RTP. The design firms can range from interior design supporting the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, software design, aviation design and technology/engineering design firms that can design for companies such as Ford, GM and NASA. NC A&T State Univ. in Greensboro already have contracts with NASA. These kind of design firms concentrated in a park similar to RTP would recruit great minds from all over the world. This is what the Triad is striving for but most importantly the Triad wants to have a diverse economy and build on other industries such as transportation and logistics as well. The Triad should also build on its film making heritage and I think a MAJOR film studio should be built in the middle of the Triad within the design park. The design industry would go hand in hand with hitech manufacturing in the Triad. Design firms for automobile companies could help attract automobile manufacturing plants. Likewise, software design firms could help attract or develope the asscociated manufacturing facilities for these software design firms.

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Citiboi you made alot of interesting points, I've been in the area now for almost 4 years and things have change alot and I think within the next 5-10 yrs this area will be a high place of interest for corporations b/c of it's location and universtities that are located here. Also, I've heard many people mention how it's cheaper to get a house in the Triad versus the Triangle area and have moved here and commute to that area. And durham is only 52 miles from the Greensboro and that's not the outer limits of the area so from a metro view these areas are closer than that.

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The cost of living geive the Triad a big advantage. If the Triad plays its cards right, the region will explode with growth and im not talking about big box retailers, strip shopping centers and fast food joints.

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The catch is if growth "explodes" in the Triad as some are expecting then the cost of living will go up as the demand increases....The reason the Triad is cheaper then the Triangle and Charlotte at the moment is b/c it's growing a little slower, keeping land costs down somewhat.....

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In some ways the Triad has already surpassed Charlotte. We are seeing the rebirths of the Triad's downtowns. Greensboro and Winston-Salem have just as many downtown plans and proposals as Charlotte.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You cannot be serious about that claim can you??

I don't dispute that GSO and W-S are making great strides in their downtown areas, but I invite you to come to Charlotte and experience our Uptown. No offense, but Charlotte's Uptown makes the downtown areas of W-S and GSO look like downtown Walkertown.

And, I don't think that GSO and W-S have just as many downtown proposals/projects as Charlotte. Charlotte has under construction or planned, lets see:

1. Arena

2. Epicentre, 56 story entertainment and living

3. Avenue, 30 story condo highrise

4. The Park, 21 story condo highrise

5. The Vue, 50 story condo highrise

6. Wachovia Tower with 2 new art museums, theatre, and Wake Forest

7. Courtside, 17 story condo highrise

8. Trademark, condo highrise

9. Multi-acre Urban Park

10. NASCAR Hall of Fame (awaiting approval)

11. New Bank of America Tower

12. Light rail line

13. Imaginon, children's library and theatre

14. Ritz Carlton hotel

You really need to be realistic about what you are claiming.

You cannot compare the country's 20th largest city to GSO or W-S; in fact, one of our neighborhoods (University City) has more residents in it than GSO or W-S. Charlotte is simly always going to have things that the Triad doesn't because of its size.

I'm not taking away from the fact that W-S or GSO has things to offer that other cities don't, every city has advantages and disadvantages, but you cannot make claims (downtown projects) that simply aren't true.

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I was kind of amused to see the hand-wringing in the paper a few months ago about "Is Charlotte cool? Are we attracting the creative class?" It sounded so..... Greensboro-ish! :D  Greensboro has spent the last 20 years obsessing over "How can we make this place trendy? How can we keep the young people here?" I thought Charlotteans had more confidence than that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it was more the Charlotte Observer looking at our weaknesses; compared to a city like Seattle or Boston or even Atlanta, Charlotte does need to do a better job of attracting the creative class/liberals/Bohemians in order to be a more inclusive city.

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The Triad will have its day. I wish I had a crystal ball and could picture 20 years from now. Due to its location it is bound to get some spin off from both the Triangle and Charlotte as those two areas become more congested. I like the Triad, I find Winston and Greensboro to have a more liberal vibe than Charlotte.

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I have to scoff at the idea of GSO/W-S being a major player. I have lived in all 3 metro areas in NC and have to say the Triad was by far (and I mean real far) the most boring. Thats not to say its all bad-I think a lot of the classic architecture surpasses that of Charlotte and the Triangle such as the JP and RJR buildings. The people in the Triad are friendly. Housing prices are cheap. There are some cool older neighborhoods. And I do like the new I-85 loop around town-it knocks about 20 minutes off my trip.

Economic Development:

Technology (and I should know this field as I am a grad student in molecular biology)

It is not even in the same league as the Triangle (as in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). RTP already employs 38,000 people-in the park alone. Credit Suisse is moving North American IT operations there with another 500-1000 employees in the next 2-4 years. A billion dollar crop science company just announced movement of its US headquaters to RTP from California. I think everyone and his brother has tried to copy the RTP concept (and it was the original) with little or no luck. Honestly, the competition is with Boston, Seattle, and N. California, not Greensboro.

Ok, now Raleigh: Centenial Campus (mini RTP-type campus) at NCSU will employ almost 35,000 in the next 10 years in all tech sector jobs.

Cary: SAS has had double digit growth since the 70s when it was formed. Remains the largest private software company in the world.

Durham: Merck will be opening its $300 million vaccine manufacturing facilty in the next 5 years. The American Tobacco Complex is becoming a major tech incubator project. Duke has about 20 spinoff companies that have raised about $140 million alone this year.

Chapel Hill: UNC-In the midst of a $1 billion+ physical sciences/life sciences/genomics initiative with about 40 new facilities planned or in construction. Construction on the NC Cancer Hospital has started and construction on Carolina North (a biotech incubator campus) is in the construction process.

The Triad has maybe 3-4 legimate tech companies at this point. I think one, Targacept, has a very shaky future. Syngenta will most likely be bought out by Bayer Crop Science in the near future (which is headquartered in RTP). Wake Forest is an excellent liberal arts college but its research component is average at best and won't be able to sustain a major tech market alone. I don't even think UNCG has PhD level programs in science.

I don't think Charlotte has anything to fear in the banking market as I think 2 of the top 5 banks in the nation are headquartered there.

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The Triad may very well remain in the #3 position for another century. Simply because what makes it appealing to people who choose to live there, is that it ISN'T Charlotte and it ISN'T Raleigh and it ISN'T a little podunk small town.

Greensboro has some very likeable areas. I would have no qualms living in the college district near UNCG, it's just as nice as I remember it from 23 years ago-- and it's isn't as expensive as Dilworth or Chapel Hill.

But, I'm in Charlotte. It's a "commercial place" and I wanted more opportunity and better pay than I could find in the Triad.

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I think Greensboro and the Triad will have its day. Maybe not with biotech which is already a saturated market but with the design industry that I mentioned before. Imagine the Triad having a NASA design firm responsibe for designing future space vehicles. Greensboro already has that connection with NASA through NC A&T State University. Other design sectors such as fasion design, interior design, software design, electronics design, automobile design, aviation design and the list goes on. Imagine the Triad have a design park for all these firms. Image these firms attracting associated hitech manufacturing facilities. The planned FEDEX hub at PTI Airport would make it easier send and receive parts for companies over night. The National Design Institute is already being established in the Triad so that help give us an edge to become the nation's premeir design center. This is the direction the Triad is going and it is just as lucrative as research in the Triangle. The only difference is The Triad would hardly have any competition at all becasue most cities arent persuing that. They are all chasing after biotech. But the Triad does have more biotech jobs than Charlotte so that would be an example of the Triad passing Charlotte.

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Alot of what u r saying cityboi sounds like dreaming...like saying that there are already a small handful of companies around, and more are going to follow, including a dozen or so fields that have nothing in common except for the fact that they design things! I just can't see the Triad being a "Designing Destination". But I suppose we all have the right to dream....

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When I was driving back from Wilmington And went through the Triangle I didn't think it seemed any bigger or better than the Triad. Felt exactly the same to me.

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Things are underway in making that happen. Im sure in the 1960 s when RTP was first on the drawing board, most thought Raleigh/Durham was dreaming. How could they compete with Boston or Cailfornia. That was the mindset. The Triad already has the infrastruction to become a design destination from its well established artsy culture to is schools. UNC Greensboro has the best interior design program in the state and has a great art program. Winston-Salem has The NC School of the Arts. I dont think its day dreaming and that it can become a reality. Keep in mind these design firms will help attract associated manufacturing plants. A software design firm would help attract software manufacturing companies. An automobile design firm could help attract and automobile plant and so on and so on. The design industry would work hand in hand with hitech manufacturing in the Triad. We are talking about thousand of high paying jobs, many white collar. What gives us an edge is the fact that we are the only region in the country that is striving for this on a national level.

NCGUY06, In terms of size, both metros are about the same. I think the Triad has a slighty better nightlife scene in the downtowns. Winston-Salem is know as festival city and downtown Greensboro looks like downtown Atlanta at night. But obviuosly the Triangle beats the Triad hands down when it comes to the number of high paying jobs, education and image.

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Does anyone think that by the times mentioned in this thread Charlotte's metro will have met the edge of the triad? Looking at it on maps it has a way to go but if Charlotte sprawled to the north like Atlanta and the triad sprawled southwest it could very well happen.

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