The annual “State of the Downtown” event, held by Downtown Greensboro Inc., tried a different format this year.

In the past, the State of the Downtown has centered around a speech by DGI President and District 3 City Councilmember Zack Matheny, and awards were given to folks who had made a difference in downtown development in the past year.

On Tuesday, June 6, the State of the Downtown event was held at the Hyatt Place at the corner of North Eugene Street and Bellemeade Street and people were invited to drop by anytime between 8:30 and 10 a.m. and stay for as long as they liked to talk to DGI staff and city employees about the downtown, the progress it has made and what’s in the pipeline.

Matheny said, “It’s exciting to see everything that’s coming through and is happening.  There’s a lot more that coming real soon that’s currently under contract, and I can’t wait to share some of that news.”

Matheny said that it was too early to talk about some of the projects in the pipeline but that he hoped there would be some major announcements about development in the downtown before the summer was over.”

Matheny pointed to the posters lining the room and said, “All of this stuff is already happening.  We don’t have to raise taxes to get this done; we’re already doing it.”

The recommended budget for the City of Greensboro includes a 4-cent tax increase, and Matheny, as a city councilmember, has said he opposes a tax increase.

One of the changes that is currently in the works is removing the temporary outdoor dining patios that were created to help restaurants survive during the COVID restrictions and replacing them with permanent outdoor dining patios.

The 13 new, more esthetically pleasing permanent outdoor dining patios are to be installed beginning on June 12.

The new outdoor dining patios will cost a total of $430,700, with $288,000 covered by DGI and $142,700 in funds from the City of Greensboro. The $288,000 represents the largest single investment DGI has ever made in the downtown community.