by Sam Hieb
The Rhino’s John Hammer on the state of economic development in Greensboro:
Scott Yost’s slogan is, “Greensboro: Close to Somewhere You’d Like to Be.” I doubt if that one will catch on, but it’s what everybody says about Greensboro. “It’s close to the mountains. Close to the beach.” What they could add is, “If you like top quality college basketball it’s close to Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham and Winston-Salem. If you like professional football or basketball it’s close enough to drive down to Charlotte for a game but you don’t have to live with that Charlotte traffic every day.” Maybe that’s not a bad slogan, kind of understated, although a bit long.
But if the groups in Greensboro that promote the city can’t get together on a simple thing like a slogan, how can they hope to do something like attract an automobile manufacturing facility or Boeing?
Hammer puts Greenville, S.C. and Austin as cities Gboro needs to look at to see what they’re doing differently. I’ll say this much — high powered developer Marty Kotis –whose whose recently opened Marshall Free House got a solid review from the N&R —-cites Greenville’s greenway –with its bars and restaurants —- for its success downtown. Greensboro is certainly following that model as it promotes its fledgling downtown greenway.
Hammer says “more convinced than ever that a quick fix over at the Partnership offices will not be enough to solve the problems.” The City Council is wise —-maybe the days of –as Hammer puts it — meetings and consultants and parties and “reinventing the wheel” and are winding down.