Eastern Carolina's biggest city may see some new projects in the area to keep people and their cash coming in, though new projects come with a price.
The Greenville Office of Economic Development presented some big ideas to a financial committee Wednesday. Pitches ranged from a more developed retail corridor to a new sports development complex. All proposals were presented with a focus on job creation, tax base, and the quality of life.
However, the financial undertakings must first be approved by Greenville City Council. If approved, voters would then likely have a say in the new initiatives with a bond referendum to determine if the projects comes from taxpayer money.
There are construction projects already taking shape around the Uptown area of Greenville. One is a private project that economic development manager Carl Rees said will create 20,000 square feet of office space and 3,500 feet of retail space. However, in the 2 years since Greenville's Office of Economic Development has been in operation, Rees has wanted to do even more.
"These are all things that we think are opportunities for Greenville to grow jobs, grow tax base and make this a better place to live," said Rees.
One of six presented projects included an enhancement of the 10th street connector, which begins at the intersection of Evans and 10th and extends to Memorial Drive in the Medical District. Rees and others on the committee said this could create a major gateway into uptown. Additional proposals included major facelifts to the Dickinson corridor, 1st street and Town Common, Frontgate retail corridor, a sports development complex, and a Business and Technology Park.
The advisory committee has to decide which project, or projects, are worth funding.
Advisory Committee Chair, Dennis Mitchell, said the options still rest with the City Council.
"Pretty much we can go as far as giving the City Council a toolbox to pick from or can say, 'This is our complete package, we want you guys to review this and take our recommendation,'" said Mitchell. "Still, the City Council has the final authority whether to accept what we give them, modify it, or decide not to go for a bond at all."
The bond advisory committee meets again in two weeks to decide if any of the projects will get the green light to move on to the Council.