In recent years, the City of High Point has been doing everything it can to revitalize its once faltering downtown, and a new incentives package meant to bring jobs to one area of downtown is expected to continue that progress.
The High Point City Council recently adopted a “Targeted Downtown Office Incentives Policy” that applies to a limited area of central High Point called the Downtown Municipal Service District. That district is the area around the new multi-use stadium that’s home to the High Point Rockers baseball team – or, at least, it is when there are no pandemic restrictions in place.
The area is bounded by Hamilton Street to the east and by Ray Avenue, North Elm and Westwood Avenue to the north, Lindsay Street and Oak Street to the west and by Green Drive to the south.
Under the new policy, applicants can receive office incentives of as much as 50 percent of the total upfit expenditures – up to $50,000 in total – “to make internal capital improvements for better use, new use or adaptive use” of existing structures.
Those who rent office space instead of creating it in the zone can get rent assistance for up to four years, with the first year being 80 percent of the rent cost and the percentage dropping each year after that.
High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill said that anyone who wants to take advantage of the offerings needs to do so before mid-summer of next year.
“The policy is limited in time and geography,” Hill said this week, adding, “It will sunset on July 31, 2021. As Mayor Jay Wagner said at a recent High Point EDC board meeting, ‘The policy is designed to create a sense of urgency – thus the expiration date.’”
Hill said the initiative has already generated some interest.
“Our office staff has already been talking to several clients who are interested in learning more,” Hill said.
He added that the policy – which applies to new construction or to a significant rehab of an existing building – is designed to spur new downtown development and to bring in jobs, which is a focus of High Point’s strategic plan.
“Bringing office jobs downtown is important to that revitalization,” Hill stated.