Guilford County Commissioner Carolyn Coleman who lives in Pleasant Garden and others in and around the town are saying they want their section of the county to see its fair share of development. Coleman has brought the issue up recently at several county commissioners meetings and she said this week that, while projects – industry, new restaurants, new retail, etc. – seem to be popping up all over the county, the same isn’t true of Pleasant Garden and southeast Guilford County.
She said development in the county’s southwest, the areas around Piedmont Triad International Airport, northwestern and northeastern Guilford County get all kinds of businesses and industry – but the Pleasant Garden area in the southeastern quadrant of the county seems to have been lost in the mix.
Coleman said she wants to see more effort from Guilford County commissioners and economic development officials to find ways to bring growth, jobs and retail to her area. Coleman said citizens there feel the same way.
“We’re getting to the point where you can’t go in any direction and not find development – but it’s not here,” Coleman said. “We don’t even have a grocery store.”
Coleman said her area used to have thriving operations in a Boren Brick plant and a Hooker Furniture factory, but those shut down years ago. She pointed out that there was interest in a rock quarry project two years ago at the old Boren Brick site in her area but that project involved blasting and many citizens fought it because it wasn’t the type of industry people wanted to see there.
Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen – who, along with High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill, provides the staff leadership of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) – said the Alliance looks at all areas of the county for potential economic development projects. He also said a new site-location effort, which GCEDA is conducting with the help of the consulting firm Timmons Group, may discover some quality sites in the Pleasant Garden area.
“We are obviously looking at opportunities county-wide,” Christensen said of GCEDA.
He said that, when a major occupant is found for the giant Greensboro-Randolph Megasite just south of Guilford County, Pleasant Garden would no doubt see some growth from the company or companies who use the site.
“You will see that across southern Guilford County,” he said of the economic impact of the megasite once a major tenant is secured.
As for retail businesses such as shops and restaurants, Christensen said those generally follow where home construction leads.
“Typically, retailers look at rooftops,” he said. “They look at their potential market.”
Coleman said the Guilford County Board of Commissioners can aid development in her area by offering incentives, moving the matter to the front burner, encouraging infrastructure and simply making the Pleasant Garden area a point of attention and emphasis.