Uptown Greenville undergoing “historic growth”

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – During the 3rd annual State of the District, Uptown Greenville officials described the historic growth the district is undergoing.

“Never again in our generation will we see the type of growth that’s happening right now in Greenville,” said Uptown Greenville’s director Bianca Shoneman.

Shoneman said more than $527 million in planned projects is scheduled in Uptown Greenville alone. That is on top of the rapid growth the district has already undergone.

Since 2014, 509 full and part time jobs have been added in the district.

In 2016, Trillium Health moved its operation into the old Bank Of America building, bringing with it 130 jobs, which Shoneman said is the largest job migration to the central business district ever.

“It means just that many more people can engage with our street level retailers, you can have a sense of walk-ability that can improve their life, and of course it increases the per-capita income of our central business district as well,” she said.

The growth has caught the attention of developers in major cities.

Daniel Douglas, director of Urban Design Benchmark Planning, was the guest speaker at the State of the District. Douglas was responsible for Raleigh’s downtown revitalization, that brought with it about $3 billion in new investment.

“You know you’ve got a great university right on the edge of downtown, and you have a river at the other end of downtown that is directly connected by your main street,” he said.

Douglas sees big things ahead for Uptown Greenville.

“You’re ready in the next 10 years where Raleigh went in the last 10 years. To really see the momentum pick up, new housing, new restaurants, new retail,” he said.

While speaking with WNCT, Douglas said he doesn’t think the city has a parking problem, but rather a parking perception issue. He said if people can’t park right in front of the business they’re going to at any point, they think there is a parking shortage.

He said one way to address that issue moving forward is to implement a pay for parking method, something city officials have been very hesitant to do.

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