NC portraits: Downtown profiles 2021

 In December 2021

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North Carolina’s small towns are the backbone of the state. There’s a lot of attention devoted to the state’s fast-growing areas like Charlotte and the Triangle, but important and exciting work is happening in smaller areas as well. Our goal with this section is to celebrate that and make you aware of how well-rounded the state truly is.

Though SNL might jokingly call Charlotte the “gateway to Gastonia,” the town west of the Queen City is a powerhouse of development, technology and manufacturing. Their anchor project includes a ballpark, retail, apartments and more called the Franklin Urban Sports & Entertainment (FUSE) District.

With creative living spaces, breweries, mixed-use space and a technology park involved, the joke becomes a little more serious as we see more folks moving outside of Charlotte to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Gaston County also offers Bessemer City, located 25 miles outside of Charlotte with a population of just under 6,000. Though it might be considered small, Bessemer City is growing quickly and recently announced the transformation of the 250,000-square-foot Osage Mill downtown to become workforce housing apartments and commercial space. The city is also working on a 40-acre multi-use park for its growing population.

And not to be confused with the South Carolina town with the same name, Greenville is home to East Carolina University and continues to see its town grow as a diverse place to live. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the Uptown Greenville District, which has announced or completed $900 million in public and private investments in recent years.

We hope you enjoy reading more about these incredible towns in the pages to come.

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^^^ Click on the individual layouts above to view their full PDF. ^^^

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