Annual State of Downtown Greensboro Event Highlights Strong Economic Growth, Momentum and Major Initiatives for the Future
Greensboro, N.C. – Downtown Greensboro Inc. hosted the annual State of Downtown Greensboro event on Thursday, bringing together more than 250 community, business, education and elected leaders to celebrate downtown’s incredible economic momentum and to learn more about key initiatives for the future.
“The State of Downtown is strong, and getting stronger,” said Zack Matheny, President & CEO of Downtown Greensboro, Inc. “With 31 new businesses opening their doors in 2023 supported by 1.8 million unique visitors downtown, it’s no surprise that the annual economic impact of revenues generated downtown tops $90 million in public benefit. We have significant momentum, and with an $800M development pipeline, we’re not slowing down.”
The State of Downtown presentation featured a comprehensive update on “where we’ve been,” “where we are,” and “where we’re going.”
First, came a deep dive into the economic impact of downtown, particularly in providing tax revenues to the city, county and state. A third-party study by KB Advisory Group determined that the combined public benefit of businesses downtown totaled $90 million in 2023.

Additionally, Matheny noted that two publications recently named Downtown Greensboro among the top booming downtowns in the country, including an independent analysis by 24/7 Wall Street and another by the American City Business Journals.
In 2023, 15 new restaurants and bars opened downtown, in addition to 16 new service and retail businesses. Of the 31 new businesses opening their doors, 63 percent are Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises. A few notable new businesses that recently opened include The Quarter, Muddle, Pura Vida and A’EO Fine Art. Matheny noted that this growth goes beyond the Elm Street corridor to other growing pockets of downtown.


Matheny also discussed significant momentum in the other core areas of DGI’s work, including Events, Marketing, Public Space & Safety Management and Advocacy & Education.
Looking to the future, Matheny provided details on several already announced projects underway including 523 N Spring, the Marilyn & Dean Green Rehearsal Hall, the 1889 Depot and the AC Hotel. He also unveiled several projects that are coming soon, including the exciting redevelopments or renovations of key downtown sites including Triad Stage, the Pour House, Perry’s Exxon and Fordham Drug.
To explore a key initiative for the future, nationally renowned downtown planning expert Mark De La Torre from MIG provided an update on the 2030 strategic vision plan and the reimagination of the Depot into a vibrant mixed-use development. The future Depot vision will create an exciting destination with a broad range of uses, activities and experiences, all while expanding access and connectivity throughout the site and downtown.
The program closed with a preview of a new initiative to better tell the story of downtown Greensboro and to continue to attract businesses and visitors to the City Center.
“Our world is increasingly captivated and impacted by AI,” said Matheny. “We’ve developed a new marketing campaign that challenges the viewer to move beyond AI and to Taste, Celebrate and Discover what’s REAL in downtown Greensboro.”

The soon-to-launch multi-channel campaign will incorporate video, social, digital, billboards, print and other display mediums. A preliminary campaign video can be viewed here.
Given the overwhelming interest in this event and opportunities to engage, a new series titled “Downtown Dialogue” was announced to help continue the conversation. The series will include quarterly engagements located at various downtown businesses to answer questions, gain insights and continue the dialogue with the community. The first Downtown Dialogue is scheduled for May 16 at a downtown location soon to be determined.
To view the State of Downtown Greensboro presentation in its entirety, click here