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Lee street bully

What does Greensboro need to do to reach the next level as a city?

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There is alot of construction and changes going on in the city of Greensboro. The city has fared pretty well in the past years and has still managed to grow even in the ressession. We have many things here that we should be proud of and embrace. But, there is always room for more growth and improvement (the same can be said about any city). Greensboro's economy still heavily relies on manufacturing. It's downtown has grown but could still use more basic things and is lacking in certain things. We have plenty of universities within' the city, but alot of students choose to leave after graduation, which seems to somewhat hinder the growth of our younger population. Like it or not, the young people are our future, and the more young professionals we keep, the more easier it will be for growth. Recently, Greensboro has been getting bad press about it being "boring" for some reason, epically among younger people. It may sound funny, but alot of people tend to leave Greensboro simply because they think its boring. We could a better job of appealing to this demographic. We need to appeal to EVERYONE, not just middle-aged couples with children. We also need to make more BOLD decisions concerning our government and projects . The conservative ways of the council has hindered Greensboro's development for decades. There is still basic things we should improve such as our bus system. I made this thread for suggestions and views on what Greensboro should DO and ACHIEVE to become a more larger, more prosperous and more notable city along the ranks of Charlotte, Atlanta, etc.. We as residents of this city have the right to voice our opinion, and if we keep quiet, then one would think that we are contempt with our city. While it is a great place to live, there are still things that can be done to improve Greensboro so it can continue to grow and stay strong, for the sake of cities future.

Like I said before, this thread is for suggestions, ideas and other things of the such. Do NOT come in here bashing Greensboro. Please be mature and serious about this topic. If your coming in here to spread negativity, go elsewhere....:)

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I think the image of Greensboro among young people is improving. The word of Greensboro's night life and amenities for young proffesionals is getting out there. But I agree our city government is too conservative in its actions and vision for the city. Despite all the great things happening, there is still the mentality "we don't want to be like Charlotte" No one is saying Greensboro should be a carbon copy clone of Charlotte but I think Greensboro can still achieve "big city status" while preserving its culture and identity. Cleveland is a big city but its nothing like Charlotte and has a totally different culture. As far as downtown goes, I think the primary focus now should be attracting jobs and downtown office projects, We've done a great job attracting entertainment,restaurants and residential projects but if want to see more larger scale residential projects in the center-city we need to have more jobs downtown as well. The bulk of residents that live in downtown condo towers in Charlotte are young proffesionals who live near their jobs uptown. Of course there are the empty nesters as well who buy condos. The downtown greenway in Greensboro will be a major catalyst for urban residential development but ultimately downtown needs more office jobs and class A office space if downtown truly wants to be recognized as the center of it all. In terms of job growth it seems that the airport area gets more attention than downtown. Downtown should have a stronger job market than the airport if Greensboro really wants to become a big city. Before that happens, Greensboro must overcome some challenges in its downtown. Greensboro's downtown is roughly one square mile. Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem have larger downtowns in area so there are a lot of opportunities for development in those downtowns. Because of the small size of downtown Greensboro there is limited available land and the land that is available is expensive. In some ways limited land is a good thing because it could lead to taller projects. But when land is limited, parking for large scale office projects can become an issue. That means developers will have to be creative and build towers on top of decks with street level store fronts. Cost is another problem because its more expensive to build downtown. DGI and the city need to come up with some sort of incentive program to attract companies downtown to level the playing field with the suburbs similar to the way we offer incentives to get companies to move to the area. Another issue with limited land is that sometimes a developer may need to purchase adjoining tracts of land to make a project work. But if the owner of one of those tracts don't want to sell, it pretty much kills the deal.

But if we can attract more high paying white collar jobs to the city, then the college students that go to school here will remain here. The Bottom line, jobs attract people and when you attract people to the city, the population grows at a faster rate as we are seeing in Charlotte and Raleigh. The larger a city grows, the larger its tax base grows which means the city will have the money to take on bolder projects. I know many like Greensboro because its in the middle. Its sort of like a big city but its like a small town as well. But we have to choose. Either we grow or we don't. We can't be in the middle forever so now its time for Greensboro to move to the next level. But I think its unlikely we will see a lot of traditional white collar financial office jobs moving downtown so the focus needs to be tech jobs and companies such as Honda Aircraft Company and RF Micro Devices who are establishing their corporate headquarters in the city. A main fiber optic line between Washington, DC and Atlanta runs under South Elm Street in downtown so there is great potential for some tech companies setting up shop downtown. Those jobs pay more than the bank and finacial services workers. The majority of the big tower projects in the near future will be mixed-use, a combination of office, residential and retail. Its a great way to maximize the height of projects and at the same time reduces the financial risk for the developers.

hehe maybe I'll live to see downtown look like this.

NEWCITYVIEW1.JPG

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I think the image of Greensboro among young people is improving. The word of Greensboro's night life and amenities for young proffesionals is getting out there. But I agree our city government is too conservative in its actions and vision for the city. Despite all the great things happening, there is still the mentality "we don't want to be like Charlotte" No one is saying Greensboro should be a carbon copy clone of Charlotte but I think Greensboro can still achieve "big city status" while preserving its culture and identity. Cleveland is a big city but its nothing like Charlotte and has a totally different culture. As far as downtown goes, I think the primary focus now should be attracting jobs and downtown office projects, We've done a great job attracting entertainment,restaurants and residential projects but if want to see more larger scale residential projects in the center-city we need to have more jobs downtown as well. The bulk of residents that live in downtown condo towers in Charlotte are young proffesionals who live near their jobs uptown. Of course there are the empty nesters as well who buy condos. The downtown greenway in Greensboro will be a major catalyst for urban residential development but ultimately downtown needs more office jobs and class A office space if downtown truly wants to be recognized as the center of it all. In terms of job growth it seems that the airport area gets more attention than downtown. Downtown should have a stronger job market than the airport if Greensboro really wants to become a big city. Before that happens, Greensboro must overcome some challenges in its downtown. Greensboro's downtown is roughly one square mile. Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem have larger downtowns in area so there are a lot of opportunities for development in those downtowns. Because of the small size of downtown Greensboro there is limited available land and the land that is available is expensive. In some ways limited land is a good thing because it could lead to taller projects. But when land is limited, parking for large scale office projects can become an issue. That means developers will have to be creative and build towers on top of decks with street level store fronts. Cost is another problem because its more expensive to build downtown. DGI and the city need to come up with some sort of incentive program to attract companies downtown to level the playing field with the suburbs similar to the way we offer incentives to get companies to move to the area. Another issue with limited land is that sometimes a developer may need to purchase adjoining tracts of land to make a project work. But if the owner of one of those tracts don't want to sell, it pretty much kills he deal.

But if we can attract more high paying white collar jobs to the city, then the college students that go to school here will remain here. The Bottom line, jobs attract people and when you attract people to the city, the population grows at a faster rate as we are seeing in Charlotte and Raleigh. The larger a city grows, the larger its tax base grows which means the city will have the money to take on bolder projects. I know many like Greensboro because its in the middle. Its sort of like a big city but its like a small town as well. But we have to choose. Either we grow or we don't. We can't be in the middle forever so now its time for Greensboro to move to the next level. But I think its unlikely we will see a lot of traditional white collar financial office jobs moving downtown so the focus needs to be tech jobs and companies such as Honda Aircraft Company and RF Micro Devices who are establishing their corporate headquarters in the city. A main fiber optic line between Washington, DC and Atlanta runs under South Elm Street in downtown so there is great potential for some tech companies setting up shop downtown. Those jobs pay more than the bank and finacial services workers. The majority of the big tower projects in the near future will be mixed-use, a combination of office, residential and retail. Its a great way to maximize the height of projects and at the same time reduces the financial risk for the developers.

hehe maybe I'll live to see downtown look like this.

NEWCITYVIEW1.JPG

You make some strong points. The real reason why people move is because money! When you have more people with more money, you have more activity within the city. When you have that, everything that concerns entertainment will fall in place (even though Greensboro has gotten much stronger in that department). I agree that the job market downtown should be improved. Alot of the job opportunities in Greensboro are scattered throughout the city(a result of urban renewal?). And we are already attracting good tech jobs all well. American Express has agreed to build a data center in Guilford County . It wont be downtown but it could help attract more businesses that require office space. You also mentioned the small space downtown. This could be a gift or curse depending on how it is used. Smaller space can call for taller projects, and a more dense looking skyline(which would be more pleasant to look at).

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Downtown should have a stronger job market than the airport if Greensboro really wants to become a big city.

Not necessarily. Furthermore, Greensboro can become a better city (which should be the REAL goal here) without necessarily becoming a much bigger city. Think of all of the cities that are more or less Greensboro's size that have had great success in making their downtowns a true destination like Charleston (it wasn't always as polished and classy as it is now), Greenville, Chattanooga, etc. These cities don't necessarily have large downtown office markets, and in some ways, that has probably helped their downtown revitalization efforts since smaller, traditional storefronts--which are more conducive to generating pedestrian activity--weren't demolished to make way for hulking, monolithic office towers. Don't get me wrong; it's always good to have a growing downtown office market, but that in and of itself isn't a silver bullet. I think that because you guys are sandwiched between two cities that get a lot of shine on the regional and nationals level for growth and development that you all (and perhaps others) underestimate what you all have and the progress that you've made. Elm Street can give Tryon Street here in Charlotte a run for its money in terms of nightlife (maybe Fayetteville Street too, but I'm not familiar enough with it to say). Neither Charlotte or Raleigh have downtown ballparks that bring families downtown and add to the liveliness of the urban core like Greensboro has. Neither one has a public space in the urban core like Center City Park. We here in Charlotte often lament the fact that we don't have a university downtown. I think Greensboro is doing a lot of things right and just needs to continue to focus on increasing the quality of life in the city and begin to promote and highlight to its citizens what it already has. At the end of the day, either you're comfortable in a city Greensboro's size and all that it offers, or you aren't. If it's the latter, then you're surrounded by larger options both to the north (Raleigh, DC) or the south (Charlotte, Atlanta) that will give you more of what you're looking for. But don't hold your breath hoping that it will morph into something like those cities overnight, or even within 20 years or so. And Greensboro doesn't have to do that to become a great city or reach its next level.

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Here is a short list I have been thinking about for 10 years.

-Greensboro is fortunate to have many colleges and universities close to its downtown. I believe downtown Greensboro should focus on it's surrounding collegiate neighborhoods through housing and retail that encourage students and staff that currently commute to live and enjoy downtown. This could be achieved through public and private developments. Having a vibrant downtown also being an extension of 4 different colleges and institutions would separate Greensboro from all other downtowns in our state.

-I would start with converting Market and Friendly to 2-way streets, I would close half of Morrow Blvd though its 6 lane and convert that to a 2 lane road with bike lanes, the closed half would become a park. Through downtown I would reduce the speed of Lee Street to 30 mph with an enhanced pedestrian street-scape.

Transportation wise I feel eventually Greensboro will become a major rail hub within the state connecting Winston-Salem to Amtrak via commuter rail, Commuter rail throughout the Triad, High frequency rail between Raleigh and Charlotte and High Speed Rail. These rail connections will encourage growth around the train station.

I think High Point Road/Lee Street should become a focus in Greensboro. If High Point Road/Lee Street goes down then you'll have another "Randleman Road" as the city's most important street (excluding Wendover Ave).

Attracting high paying jobs in Eastern and Western Guilford county should also help the city reach the next level.

Last but not least the city should invest in making itself more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Charlotte looks better than all the other large cities in the state IMHO.

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These are a few things that I have thought about that haven't been mentioned already. Some may be plausible, some may not but here are my greatly inflated two cents.

- I think if its possible, move Bryan Business School downtown, Maybe on Commerce Ave. Near Elon Law (UNCG could use the existing building for more class rooms as it continues to grow its enrollment) (This could go for A&T if they wanted to create a professional graduate school of business).

- Still continue to push for a Pharmacy School, even without the backing of UNC

- An IMAX theater downtown would help bring more people downtown, the triad has the market for it, the question is which one of the big three will be the first to draw it there

- It would be awesome if we could take steps to becoming a transportation research hub as well (pipe dream, though it would a natural evolution from being a traditional transportation hub)

- I'd also continue to look overseas to lure in companies, Greensboro's placement between Charlotte and Raleigh could be attractive considering it is equidistant from both and has cheaper land to build on (compared to Char. & Triangle)

And I agree with krazeeboi, we shouldn't just aim for big, we should aim for better

Oh, and as always, I hope one day the News and Record Building will be demolished

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I look at cities such as Asheville and Charleston that are small. But Charleston has something going for it. Its location on the coast and its large historic district which attracts a lot of tourists. Without all that, Charleston would be just another sleepy southern town. Greensboro doesnt have major tourist attractions or natural attractions such as the mountains and the beach. I agree there should be a focus on making Greensboro better but usually a bigger and better city does goes hand in hand. Usually the bigger the city, the more attractions at has to improve the quality of life. The majority of young professionals do seek the urban life style and this should be the direction Greensboro takes.

Closing half the lanes on Murrow Blvd is a great idea, in fact that is the plan for the downtown Greenway. That segment of the greenway will indeed become a linear park. Because downtown is mostly surrounded by historical neighbrhoods, there isnt a lot of room to expand the downtown boundaries. There is an opportunity to expand downtown southward though. The IMAX theater has been brought up many times in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. I think there was suppose to be one in a development that called for a Krispy Kreme headqurters in downtown Winston-Salem but those plans fell through. An IMAX theater has been brought up a number of times in Greensboro. The developer of Triad Tower wants an IMAX as a part of the Tower. An IMAX theater is part of phase 3 in Action Greensboro's downtown comprehensive plan and the developer that wanted to build the Greensboro Triumph Center had an IMAX in his plans. Honestly the Triad should have had an IMAX a long time ago. The area can clearly support one and I think we will see one in downtown Greensboro in the near future (within 5 to 8 years). More than likely it will go on the Duke Power site next to the Children's Museum. The Church Street parking deck is across the street so there would be no need for a surface parking lot. Downtown Greensboro is blessed to have five colleges in the downtown area. Four of them border the central business district and one is located in the heart of downtown. The university population is clearly supporting the downtown night life and thats a big factor in its success.

Lester, I would love to see the News & Record building demolished as well. Its ugly, no room for street level activity. Its a big reason the south end of Davie and Church Streets are dead because it takes up a very large chunk of land. It would have been great if they moved to the old main post office site on East Market, but thats not going to happen since the House of Prayer for All People purchased that property.

Another problem with downtown is the streetscaping. Elm Street seems to be the only downtown corridor with nice streetscaping. That needs to change. All of those dull, 1970s highway style gray street lights on Eugene Street need to be removed and the streetscape around the ballpark needs to be improved. That should have been done at the time the ballpark was being built. Edgeworth and Spring Streets are a big problem. They are one way four lane corridors and they are NOT pedstrian friendly at all. They need to reduce the number of lanes on those two corridors, make them two way streets and add well lanscaped medians.

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I do believe Greensboro is at a sort of cross roads. Some of the physical manifestations of a large city are beginning to come together (urban loop, expanded airport and a refocus on downtown development), while the values that make Greensboro unique from Raleigh or Charlotte seem to be dissipating. The city needs to decide what’s its focus or brand. Nothing really comes to mind for most people outside of the state, but when you think of our neighbors people will mention, high tech or finance.

Fortunately, we have a lot of good attributes to pick from, but should be more progressive in implementing concepts. I think the items listed below would go a long way in improving our quality of life and distinguishing the city from our regional neighbors.

1. Continue to foster job growth of industries that make things. I think once Honda Aircraft gets going, it will attract more high paying jobs. The highly trained and educated workforce may fuel further downtown developments. The airport will be the center of much of our future development and should have a direct link to downtown via a light rail line.

2.The Triad should strengthen it’s ties and peruse more projects together. A great example would be light rail from the airport to downtown WS, HP and GSO. Also, a MSL Soccer team for the TRIAD would push the area’s visibility to ‘major league status’. We have the infrastructure to support a centrally located facility.

3. Control sprawling development with more urban infill. Greensboro can look physically different with more dense development augmented by open green space. The less sprawl the less it will cost to maintain sewer lines, etc in the long term – lowering taxes. For residents, it would reduce commute times. A walkable, bikable city would be the ultimate goal.

4.Better leverage our educational and cultural facilities by encouraging more joint research initiates with industry. There’s more manufacturing know how in the Triad than we realize. (see point #1)

5.Link bike paths through-out the Triad and treat them as real part of the transportation network. Current paths go nowhere and are not useful commuting resources for most people.

These things alone would make Greensboro really stand out from Raleigh and Charlotte. Those are nice places with their own distinctive vibes, but Greensboro should strive to be a major city by 21st century standards. We have always been a great place to raise a family and should build on those positive attributes. Highways, arenas and skyscrapers are nice but are not what makes a place great. Those things will come in time , but right now we just need to get the basics down first.

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Like I said before, this thread is for suggestions, ideas and other things of the such. Do NOT come in here bashing Greensboro. Please be mature and serious about this topic. If your coming in here to spread negativity, go elsewhere....:)

It's hard to talk about how to move Greensboro to "the next level" without identifying shortcomings, which will include some negative assessments of certain facets of Greensboro. With that said, here are my recommendations. I will do my best to put forth actionable ideas in addition to criticisms.

1. Stop building freeways, especially the loop. There is no economic activity case for them existing today, and the major investment at the periphery only continues to siphon life out of the city's core. The first rule of holes is to stop digging, and this is one of the most important steps.

2. Listen to Krazeeboi. Greensboro is already big enough for the next 150 years, maybe longer. Geographic size and city quality are not linked. Physically, the city limits of Greensboro are similar to those of Detroit, at over 130 square miles. Of course, Detroit could physically hold Boston, Manhattan, and San Francisco with room to spare. Greensboro should grow, but its growth should be infill in nature, and not more clear-cutting of greenfields, suburban sprawl.

3. Develop citizen pressure groups for good urban planning.

4. Make David Wharton's blog required reading for Greensboro residents.

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I do believe Greensboro is at a sort of cross roads. Some of the physical manifestations of a large city are beginning to come together (urban loop, expanded airport and a refocus on downtown development), while the values that make Greensboro unique from Raleigh or Charlotte seem to be dissipating. The city needs to decide what’s its focus or brand. Nothing really comes to mind for most people outside of the state, but when you think of our neighbors people will mention, high tech or finance.

Fortunately, we have a lot of good attributes to pick from, but should be more progressive in implementing concepts. I think the items listed below would go a long way in improving our quality of life and distinguishing the city from our regional neighbors.

1. Continue to foster job growth of industries that make things. I think once Honda Aircraft gets going, it will attract more high paying jobs. The highly trained and educated workforce may fuel further downtown developments. The airport will be the center of much of our future development and should have a direct link to downtown via a light rail line.

2.The Triad should strengthen it’s ties and peruse more projects together. A great example would be light rail from the airport to downtown WS, HP and GSO. Also, a MSL Soccer team for the TRIAD would push the area’s visibility to ‘major league status’. We have the infrastructure to support a centrally located facility.

3. Control sprawling development with more urban infill. Greensboro can look physically different with more dense development augmented by open green space. The less sprawl the less it will cost to maintain sewer lines, etc in the long term – lowering taxes. For residents, it would reduce commute times. A walkable, bikable city would be the ultimate goal.

4.Better leverage our educational and cultural facilities by encouraging more joint research initiates with industry. There’s more manufacturing know how in the Triad than we realize. (see point #1)

5.Link bike paths through-out the Triad and treat them as real part of the transportation network. Current paths go nowhere and are not useful commuting resources for most people.

These things alone would make Greensboro really stand out from Raleigh and Charlotte. Those are nice places with their own distinctive vibes, but Greensboro should strive to be a major city by 21st century standards. We have always been a great place to raise a family and should build on those positive attributes. Highways, arenas and skyscrapers are nice but are not what makes a place great. Those things will come in time , but right now we just need to get the basics down first.

It's hard to talk about how to move Greensboro to "the next level" without identifying shortcomings, which will include some negative assessments of certain facets of Greensboro. With that said, here are my recommendations. I will do my best to put forth actionable ideas in addition to criticisms.

1. Stop building freeways, especially the loop. There is no economic activity case for them existing today, and the major investment at the periphery only continues to siphon life out of the city's core. The first rule of holes is to stop digging, and this is one of the most important steps.

2. Listen to Krazeeboi. Greensboro is already big enough for the next 150 years, maybe longer. Geographic size and city quality are not linked. Physically, the city limits of Greensboro are similar to those of Detroit, at over 130 square miles. Of course, Detroit could physically hold Boston, Manhattan, and San Francisco with room to spare. Greensboro should grow, but its growth should be infill in nature, and not more clear-cutting of greenfields, suburban sprawl.

3. Develop citizen pressure groups for good urban planning.

4. Make David Wharton's blog required reading for Greensboro residents.

All those are great points!

When I was referring to Greensboro's size, I was referring to population, not geographic size. The more people a city has, the more amenities it has that will improve the quality of life. I agree, Greensboro is large enough in terms of geographic size. However looking at Greensboro's future annexation boundaries, it appears that Greensboro will one day double its geographic size. By the time that happens, Greensboro should have about 500,000 people but thats many many years away. Call annexation a good thing or bad thing. The bad thing about geographic expansion is that it can promote more sprawl but on the other hand when a city is spread out, it becomes more feasible for some sort of city-wide light rail system. But there are more negatives to geographic expansion than positives. For one thing cities that are geographically large have higher pollution levels.

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It's hard to talk about how to move Greensboro to "the next level" without identifying shortcomings, which will include some negative assessments of certain facets of Greensboro. With that said, here are my recommendations. I will do my best to put forth actionable ideas in addition to criticisms.

1. Stop building freeways, especially the loop. There is no economic activity case for them existing today, and the major investment at the periphery only continues to siphon life out of the city's core. The first rule of holes is to stop digging, and this is one of the most important steps.

2. Listen to Krazeeboi. Greensboro is already big enough for the next 150 years, maybe longer. Geographic size and city quality are not linked. Physically, the city limits of Greensboro are similar to those of Detroit, at over 130 square miles. Of course, Detroit could physically hold Boston, Manhattan, and San Francisco with room to spare. Greensboro should grow, but its growth should be infill in nature, and not more clear-cutting of greenfields, suburban sprawl.

3. Develop citizen pressure groups for good urban planning.

4. Make David Wharton's blog required reading for Greensboro residents.

I agree with pretty much everything you said. But just because you bring up something negative does mean your bashing anyone or anyplace. As long as the topic is discussed in a appropriate manner then things will be fine. Feel free to mention what needs to to be talked about.

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Well it appears as though Greensboro leaders are steering the city in a direction to become an aerotropolis. There are negatives and postivies with that. First the negatives. The downside is that being an aerotropilis does little to bringing hundreds or thousands of jobs to downtown Greensboro because most of the jobs will be going near the airport, urban loop or areas in eastern Guilford County. Now its possible a company looking to relocate is headquarters to Greensboro because of an aviation/hi-tech manufacturing cluster may relocate downtown and we may even see some small start-ups locate downtown. The positive is that its not the primary focus of any other city or metro in NC. The Triangle is focused on research/bioscience/government. Charlotte's focus is banking and finance. Being an aerotropolis attracts high-paying hitech manufacturing jobs in many different sectors, from aviation to electronics to nanotechnology. Greensboro already has the highway infrastructure in place so in terms of industry, this should be the focus. However city leaders need to figure out how to steer some that job growth to downtown. A passenger rail corridor between the airport and downtown would be helpful. I know an idea of a monorail between downtown and the airport in the middle of Bryan Blvd was seriously floated around by P.A.R.T. board members a few years back. Maybe Greensboro should put a monorail downtown/airport connector in place in the future. Yes its the second most expensive rail project after building a subway system but its unique, forward thinking and would set Greensboro a part from its peer cities in the state. Charlotte has already done light rail and the Queen City is now preparing for streetcars. Monorails would be cool the because they are elevated they would offer great views of the city and would be free of the the vehicle traffic below. Plus monorails are much faster than light rail so a trip from the airport to downtown would take less than 10 minutes. That would be a great way to steer some of the success at the airport to downtown. Projects that would include downtown hotels/convention space would also become more feasible because of the quick access to the airport. Imagine getting on the monorail right inside the airport terminal and having it whisk you to downtown Greensboro within 10 minutes!

kuala-lumpur-monorail.jpg

1661790_f520.jpg

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can't believe nobody has mentioned water! guess its the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

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can't believe nobody has mentioned water! guess its the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

The Randleman Dam has really helped water issues in Greensboro but you are right, as Greensboro continues to grow, we are going to have to have other water sources.

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Greensboro is having some kind of research school built on the corner of Florida and Lee Street. They seem to be moving fast, too.

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Greensboro is having some kind of research school built on the corner of Florida and Lee Street. They seem to be moving fast, too.

Thats great news! This should be good for Greensboro and it will be another project to help revitalize the Lee St/High Point Rd corridor. The old GTCC building downtown would be great for some sort of research center as well.

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Greensboro is having some kind of research school built on the corner of Florida and Lee Street. They seem to be moving fast, too.

I believe that's the south campus of the joint A&T/UNCG Gateway University Research Park.

Would be ideal to see such a project done downtown halfway between both schools. I know, costs & land availability, blah blah. One of downtown Greensboro's greatest untapped resources, in my opinion, is its being flanked by two good-sized schools. I wouldn't consider Greensboro a traditional "college town", but such cities generally have A) an identity, and B) a vibrancy, that GSO arguably lacks. While they're geographically too far to be casual walking distance, I think greater efforts should be made to integrate the colleges and downtown. Heck, with its law school & rumored PA school on Edgeworth, Elon is investing more in the center city than the two hometown universities.

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I believe that's the south campus of the joint A&T/UNCG Gateway University Research Park.

Would be ideal to see such a project done downtown halfway between both schools. I know, costs & land availability, blah blah. One of downtown Greensboro's greatest untapped resources, in my opinion, is its being flanked by two good-sized schools. I wouldn't consider Greensboro a traditional "college town", but such cities generally have A) an identity, and B) a vibrancy, that GSO arguably lacks. While they're geographically too far to be casual walking distance, I think greater efforts should be made to integrate the colleges and downtown. Heck, with its law school & rumored PA school on Edgeworth, Elon is investing more in the center city than the two hometown universities.

Yeah, I'm sure that land cost is the reason why this project is not downtown. And I find it pretty interesting that you don't see Greensboro traditional college town. I agree with you saying we don't have a identity, but in general I'd say Greensboro is fairly active when it comes to vibrancy. Epically when it comes to nightlife and major events. Alot of the major events that happen in North Carolina take place at the Coliseum. However, we could be more consistent in nightlife. What kind city do you consider Greensboro to be at this point?

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Yes Florida Street threw me off. Gateway University Research Park seem to be moving along nicely.

I remember a downtown research park was a part of Action Greensboro's downtown comprehensive plan back in the early 2000s. Unfortuantly the schools chose the eastern edge of town and the northern part of town for the other campus. Logistically it would have made more sense to build it downtown. But I do understand high land cost and limited available land. Clearly there is not enough land downtown to build a park the size of PTRP. But maybe at some point in the future a more compact satellite research park with a slightly different focus will be built downtown. That would be a great project for the South Elm/Lee Street development.

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I have a few comments and suggestions in conjuction with others viewpoints:

1)Downtown

There are two parts of downtown:

A: Elm Street, between Fisher Ave to the North and Lee Street to the South.

B: the remainder of downtown

First, 'A'. This area has and is still improving. Now to 'B'. This area could use alot of beautification through the use of more trees, shrubbery and other plants. It also needs more available P.T. (Public transportation) serving this area of downtown (which makes up the bulk of central Greensboro. Good P.T. in the downtown area would create more vibrancy and cohesiveness.

2)The Universities and colleges & adjacent neighborhoods

A: UNCG/Greensboro College

-proximity to housing is nearly ideal, however, commercial properties except for a few drug stores and eateries is almost non-existent

-no decent grocers (bestway is too isolated)

-Add more commercial properties near residental areas

-Add more P.T. in and around surrounding areas

B: NC A&T/Bennet College

-Although housing stock is growing, its is still subpar.

-Summit Ave/Bessemer are unattractive, suburban, too far from both campuses (not in reasonable walking distance), near crime ridden areas, to auto-friendly/not pedetrian friendly

-Add more P.T. than just HEAT to colleges/universities and within adjacent areas.

3)Major Corridors

-Wendover Ave. (East and West)

-Battleground Ave.

-Friendly Ave.

-W. High Point Rd.

-N. Elm Street

-New Garden Rd.

-Pisgah Church Rd.

-Market St. (East and West)

-Additional thoroughfares

-Again, more p.t.

-sidewalks and p.t. both connect most congested/frequently traveled areas (including restaraunts, lodging, stores, etc.)

-more bus shelters

-Greenways, trails, sidewalks and roadways should be interconnected harmonously

4)Airport/Galimore Dairy road area/Highway 68 area

-Airport needs to be served by innercity p.t. and frequently

5)Other city projects

-Encourage less strip retail centers/big box stores

-Limit strip centers/big box/malls/sprawl development by code enforement (city planning)

-maintain existing city streets (repave them when necessary)

-make P.T. acessibility a priority citywide

-make city watersheds more accessible to all peoples

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Fortunately Action Greensboro is now focusing on streetscape improvements in other parts of downtown. That should help attract street level development. Over the past 8 years there has been quite a bit of development downtown and there are some developments that could have been designed better. The new YMCA and the Carolina Bank headquarters are two of the most poorly designed projects in the past 8 years. The YMCA is awful and it looks awful being across the street from Arbor House Condos which is a totally different style of architecture. There is just no uniformity. On top of that Arbor House looks like a pedestrian friendly building yet there is nothing pedestrian friendly about Spring St. Its like a four lane mini highway that separates Arbor House Condos from the YMCA. Carolina Bank looks like it belongs in a suburban shopping center. The new design guidelines should help prevent these kind of mistakes in the future. Unfortunately its too late for the YMCA and Carolina Bank headquarters.

Arbor House

arbor-1.jpg

downtown YMCA (you can see Carolina Bank in the background) These projects have completely suburbanized this part of downtown and to top it all off, there is a suburban style Hardees and ugly Firestone tire shop across the street from the YMCA on Market St. On the back side of the YMCA there is a huge parking lot. If I were an urban designer, I would have designed the YMCA entirely different. I would have built a compact parking deck attached to the YMCA and designed it so it wouldn't look like a parking deck and I would have street level retail in the deck (smoothie/coffee shop, health store, bicycle shop, ect) By building a compact parking deck attached to the YMCA, that opens up land for more development. Part of the YMCA parking lot could have been a potential site for the proposed 15-story Federal Courthouse which is on hold. That way it would be across the street from the new 8-story jail addition. On Both sides of the YMCA there are multi-lane one way streets. (Spring Street and Edgeworth St) I would make both of them two way streets and add attractive well landscaped medians and decorative street lights. I would also include wider sidewalks for cafe seating.

ymca-1.jpg

5078174203_7a8f226f67_b.jpg

my solution

5078189265_b47e5579b6_b.jpg

parking deck example

405447510.jpg

CityDope-ProposedDowntownParkingDeck_b.jpg

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I have a few comments and suggestions in conjuction with others viewpoints:

1)Downtown

There are two parts of downtown:

A: Elm Street, between Fisher Ave to the North and Lee Street to the South.

B: the remainder of downtown

First, 'A'. This area has and is still improving. Now to 'B'. This area could use alot of beautification through the use of more trees, shrubbery and other plants. It also needs more available P.T. (Public transportation) serving this area of downtown (which makes up the bulk of central Greensboro. Good P.T. in the downtown area would create more vibrancy and cohesiveness.

2)The Universities and colleges & adjacent neighborhoods

A: UNCG/Greensboro College

-proximity to housing is nearly ideal, however, commercial properties except for a few drug stores and eateries is almost non-existent

-no decent grocers (bestway is too isolated)

-Add more commercial properties near residental areas

-Add more P.T. in and around surrounding areas

B: NC A&T/Bennet College

-Although housing stock is growing, its is still subpar.

-Summit Ave/Bessemer are unattractive, suburban, too far from both campuses (not in reasonable walking distance), near crime ridden areas, to auto-friendly/not pedetrian friendly

-Add more P.T. than just HEAT to colleges/universities and within adjacent areas.

3)Major Corridors

-Wendover Ave. (East and West)

-Battleground Ave.

-Friendly Ave.

-W. High Point Rd.

-N. Elm Street

-New Garden Rd.

-Pisgah Church Rd.

-Market St. (East and West)

-Additional thoroughfares

-Again, more p.t.

-sidewalks and p.t. both connect most congested/frequently traveled areas (including restaraunts, lodging, stores, etc.)

-more bus shelters

-Greenways, trails, sidewalks and roadways should be interconnected harmonously

4)Airport/Galimore Dairy road area/Highway 68 area

-Airport needs to be served by innercity p.t. and frequently

5)Other city projects

-Encourage less strip retail centers/big box stores

-Limit strip centers/big box/malls/sprawl development by code enforement (city planning)

-maintain existing city streets (repave them when necessary)

-make P.T. acessibility a priority citywide

-make city watersheds more accessible to all peoples

This is a great post. The public transportation needs to be upgraded so it can better serve our city. Does anyone know what the waiting time is between buses? I heard it was somewhere between 20-30 mins but I'm really not sure.

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Not necessarily. Furthermore, Greensboro can become a better city (which should be the REAL goal here) without necessarily becoming a much bigger city. Think of all of the cities that are more or less Greensboro's size that have had great success in making their downtowns a true destination like Charleston (it wasn't always as polished and classy as it is now), Greenville, Chattanooga, etc. These cities don't necessarily have large downtown office markets, and in some ways, that has probably helped their downtown revitalization efforts since smaller, traditional storefronts--which are more conducive to generating pedestrian activity--weren't demolished to make way for hulking, monolithic office towers. Don't get me wrong; it's always good to have a growing downtown office market, but that in and of itself isn't a silver bullet. I think that because you guys are sandwiched between two cities that get a lot of shine on the regional and nationals level for growth and development that you all (and perhaps others) underestimate what you all have and the progress that you've made. Elm Street can give Tryon Street here in Charlotte a run for its money in terms of nightlife (maybe Fayetteville Street too, but I'm not familiar enough with it to say). Neither Charlotte or Raleigh have downtown ballparks that bring families downtown and add to the liveliness of the urban core like Greensboro has. Neither one has a public space in the urban core like Center City Park. We here in Charlotte often lament the fact that we don't have a university downtown. I think Greensboro is doing a lot of things right and just needs to continue to focus on increasing the quality of life in the city and begin to promote and highlight to its citizens what it already has. At the end of the day, either you're comfortable in a city Greensboro's size and all that it offers, or you aren't. If it's the latter, then you're surrounded by larger options both to the north (Raleigh, DC) or the south (Charlotte, Atlanta) that will give you more of what you're looking for. But don't hold your breath hoping that it will morph into something like those cities overnight, or even within 20 years or so. And Greensboro doesn't have to do that to become a great city or reach its next level.

I know this post is pretty late, but I need to make a quick comment anyway. You're right about Raleigh or Charlotte not having downtown ballparks, but you must remember that Charlotte has two professional sports arenas that brings in tens of thousands of people at any one time surpassing what NewBridge Park could ever usher in.

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