With renovations going on throughout the heart of the city, including the conclusion of the streetscape project, the downtown Goldsboro area is a bustle of activity.
Buildings that once housed businesses — retail clothing shops, furniture stores, trade and service specialties, sundry outlets and apothecaries — are being revamped as office space, restaurants and apartments. It’s all part of the evolution of life. It’s like what numerous authors, business developers and people who seem to know have said, “The only thing you can count on is change.”
As far as downtown, and redeveloping other public areas, the concern almost always arises over cost. “How much will it cost?” and “How much will we have to pay in taxes if we do this project?” are popular questions. The better ones, however, are “How much will it cost if we don’t do it?” and “How many tax dollars is it going to take to clean up that blighted area?”
Cities invest in downtowns as they have been the regional epicenter; as was downtown Goldsboro, and as it is becoming again. Over generations, downtown areas evolved into vibrant city centers. As retail opportunities left downtown for malls and supermarkets, the areas fell into disorder. It is only thoughtful and strategic entrepreneurs who have seen the potential the inclusive future downtowns possess. City governments start downtown redevelopment to encourage private investment. Goldsboro has done an excellent job salting the mine with its streetscape project and other ventures.
The cities that do not invest in the redevelopment of their downtowns later find that such decisions were not good ones. This apathy toward downtown has a centric effect with external forces. As downtown becomes blighted, the center moves out to other areas of the city. In these neighborhoods surrounding an uncared for downtown lie bad schools, more crime and empty buildings that remote owners do not keep up. After these neighbors immediately surrounding the forgotten downtown have fallen, the center spreads out farther, and more neighborhoods are affected.
When a city does not care for the redevelopment of its downtown, the city loses its spirit, and eventually its residents.
We support the work of the streetscape projects and the private investment in downtown. Goldsboro will be all the better for it: today, tomorrow and well into the future.