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ncbrian

What city is the best to use for comparison for Winston's redevelopment?

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I was thinking about how many of us on this forum are greatly interested in the redevelopment of the cities of the Triad. But to measure the progress and success of Winston-Salem's redevelopment, there has to be a city who has successfully redeveloped its downtown and can be used as a benchmark. The city should be similar to Winston's in size, demographics and mix of industry, educational institutions and leisure activities but what city would that be? I can not think of any right now. Any ideas?

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The closest I can think of might be Greenville, SC. In 2000, the cities had roughly the same urbanized area of ~300,000. Winston-Salem has a leg up as it regards educational institutuions with WFU, WSSU, NCSA, etc., but Greenville has Furman University (highly-ranked small liberal arts university) and Clemson is not too far. The city has done wonders with its Main Street, and Falls Park on the Reedy River is a jewel of an urban park.

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I would go with an amalgem of Providence, RI/New Haven, CT/Richmond, VA and to a lesser extent, Chattanooga, TN. Providence is probably the first city I would look at - it is urban and similarly sized, it has a range of industry, it is experiencing a renaissance that is probably a little farther along than W-S and it has semi-analogous schools to Wake and NCSA (Brown and RISD). One thing that all of the cities above have that is similar to W-S is that they each used to be more significant - economically, population-wise, etc. - than they are today. But, each one is rebounding and their urban cores are key to their regeneration.

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Never thought about Providence, since the city dominates its state. Greenville, on the other hand, is the city with the largest urbanized area within a multi-nodal metro area of 1M+ residents--just like Winston-Salem. Although furniture and tobacco were never big in Greenville as they were in Winston-Salem, they both have the textile industry in common historically. Manufacturing also seems to comprise a good bit of the local economies in both areas, with the Dell and BMW plants. Both cities are also home to bank headquarters: Winston-Salem is home to BB&T, while the South Financial Group (which just announced a $100 million, 600 job expansion) has its headquarters in Greenville.

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Richmond. Nice skyline, tobacco city, has some mid-size universities, struggling to make waves in the midst of larger, more well-known neighbors.

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Richmond. Nice skyline, tobacco city, has some mid-size universities, struggling to make waves in the midst of larger, more well-known neighbors.

Richmond has a grittiness to it that is similar to Winston-Salem's. It is also sort of old-money, also like W-S.

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Yea I think richmond would be a good choice to look, only thing is that most of Richmond's popping areas are along the riverfront and canals. Winston doesn't have that and I think a river is also is what helped Greenville a lil too. All in all I think that the 4th street corridor will be the place. Columbia has a river that hasen't been utilized yet and it's downtown is great. So yea ima change my vote to Cola.

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Columbia seems to be somewhat of a different beast than Winston-Salem. While both have sizable colleges and universities and manufacturing (historically [especially textiles] and presently) in common, Columbia's other traditional economic strongholds have been different from Winston-Salem's: state government, USC, and Fort Jackson. And although it's not that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, Columbia has a larger urbanized area than Winston-Salem's (420,000 compared to Winston-Salem's 300,000 in 2000). However, when it comes to adaptive reuse of historical buildings, I think Columbia serves as one of the greatest examples in the South in that regard, especially in the historic Congaree Vista district downtown. That played a very significant role into making that area the urban hub of activity it is today.

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