Greensboro Native, Natalie Miller, has recently moved back to Greensboro to take on the family business The Historic Magnolia House located at 442 Gorrell Street. The Magnolia House is a Green Book site in Greensboro, NC that housed African American writers, actors, athletes and musicians as they traveled south to perform during the Jim Crow era.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former motel was recognized in 6 editions of The Green Book as a highly recommended place to stay for Negro travelers in North Carolina.
Identified as a Distinctive Destination with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Click here to read more.
Of the 300+ documented Green Book sites, we are 1 of maybe 6 open and operating currently within its historic context in the entire state of NC.
Within these walls embeds the history of our space are memories of James Brown playing in the street with neighborhood children, Joe Tex signing autographs on the front porch and moments captured with Ike & Tina Turner, Ray Charles, James Brown, James Baldwin, Sam Cooke, Jackie Robinson to name a few. As we strive to preserve and restore the Magnolia House both structurally and operationally it is a community effort.
The Magnolia House and the Downtown Greenway partnership is a perfect example of bringing together the Greensboro community. Both projects share a common theme of creating a space that will unite and bring communities together to create memories, experiences, and history. Natalie truly believes the Downtown Greenway is a key part of the very important Greensboro Transformation Movement that is taking place. The Magnolia House will be accessible to the Downtown Greenway from stairs at the Gorrell Street bridge and Murrow Boulevard. The Freedom Cornerstone on the Downtown Greenway will be fabricated and installed in October 2020 which will be located one block south at the corner of Gate City and Murrow Blvds. Click here for map of what is open now on the Downtown Greenway.
Greensboro Commercial developer and CEO of Kotis Holdings, Marty Kotis, talks about the Downtown Greenway in a recent blog post: Greenways Provide Exceptional Opportunities for Experiential Retail & Economic Development in GSO. Click here to read the full post.
Thanks to Josh Sherrick and Matt Felts from the Arts & Events Department of Parks & Recreation for hosting Dabney Sanders, Project Manager and Laura Lorenz, Project Assistant on their latest episode of Gate City Chatter weekly podcast about the Downtown Greenway.
Click here to listen to the podcast.
Dawn Chaney owns Chaney Properties in Downtown Greensboro and has been a long time Greensboro resident. She is a dedicated volunteer and advocate for the Downtown Greenway, serving on the Downtown Greenway Technical Team. She has also participated and walked in the Run 4 the Greenway every year since the run began in 2010.
Dawn’s love for the Downtown Greenway is evident in her remarks below:
When complete in 2019, the Downtown Greenway will allow everyone a pathway to Downtown Greensboro. The Downtown Greenway is a scenic artery for runners, walkers and bikers of all ages and abilities to connect to each other at the City Center. It is a unique fitness facility for everyone.
The Downtown Greenway is adjacent to the Ole Asheboro, Warnersville, Fisher Park, Westerwood, College Hill, Dunleath and East Market Street neighborhoods with close connectivity to Glenwood and university campuses. Even in its incomplete phase, more than 2,000 users are on it every month. When complete, we anticipate usage at 10,000-15,000 pedestrians per month. Greensboro will be recognized by other cities and towns for the connectivity and engagement provided by our Greenway.
News & Record columnist Susan Ladd writes article in December 6, 2017 edition on how the Downtown Greenway keeps getting better as each section is built and plans are finalized for remaining sections-- and we would agree! Click here to read the article. Susan also talked with Jeff Moore a designer from Kimley-Horn at the Phase 4 Public Meetings on November 30th and filmed him explaining the plans. Click here to watch the video. If you would like to review the plans for the final section of the Downtown Greenway on Phase 4, please go to the City's website. You can also share your comments on the plans by taking the short survey. Deadline for comments is December 15, 2017.
Click here for the updated construction timeline for the project.
THE PREYER FAMILY
Greensboro natives, Calder and Nicole Preyer, Britt Preyer, Jr., and Will Preyer opened Preyer Brewing Company in downtown Greensboro in May 2015. The Preyer Family comes from a line of many successful business owners in Greensboro over the past century and Preyer Brewing Company adds to that success. Calder has years of experience in the craft beer industry and a degree from Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Nicole is behind the scenes handling the communications and business administration for the brewery. Will has the art expertise in the family and manages the businesses graphics and web design. Britt, Jr. is sales manager for Eastern NC accounts. Together they have helped make this section of downtown a regular destination for many Greensboro residents.
"Truthfully, we aren't entirely sure how to explain why we chose to open Preyer Brewing on the Greenway. I think our cynical side would say that from a business perspective, it made good sense, since pedestrian paths bring customers, increased profit, and more to their areas. But it means so much more to us - it feels like being a part of keeping Greensboro, well, green. Our parks, paths, and trails are a huge part of Greensboro's character. Our city gets a bad rap for being boring, but we disagree - sure, Greensboro isn't for everyone, but it is for the people who want to get outdoors, even in an urban environment. It is for people who value the solitude you can find on an early morning hike on the watershed trails. It is for people who are seeking an urban city, and all the amenities that brings, but with a strong nod to the rural and the wild. The Greenway is about building community, in line with Greensboro's outdoorsy character, and we just had to be a part of that. As business owners born and raised in Greensboro, it's in us, and we couldn't not bring that to the bar at Preyer Brewing." Nicole Preyer, Preyer Brewing Company
Through his 15-year-old company, AZ Development, Andy Zimmerman works as a real estate developer, new product developer, and consultant for the outdoor industry. Previously, he was founder/owner of Legacy Paddlesports for seven years and Wilderness Systems for 15 years. Andy built and sold kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. He currently holds four patents for outdoor products. Andy has a passion for downtown rehabilitation, and he has renovated buildings for both the Forge (Greensboro's Makerspace) and Gibbs Hundred Brewing. Preyer Brewing and Crafted-Art of Street Food occupy his building on Battleground Avenue, which will be adjacent to the Downtown Greenway. In addition, AZ Development has renovated the HQ Greensboro space at 111 West Lewis Street. Andy has just opened BoxCar Bar & Arcade at 120 West Lewis Street - it is an arcade and bar, located in downtown Greensboro, for the ultimate drinking and gaming experience!
Andy shares with us his love of greenways and Greensboro:
From a developer's standpoint, the Downtown Greenway is Greensboro's 'icing on the cake.' The Downtown Greenway has helped influence numerous development decisions in the downtown area; it's truly a small ingredient within the larger finished product. Andy believes that successful downtowns and cities have greenways-gathering places that tie people together-and he wants Greensboro to be a leader in greenway development.
Andy is also a strong proponent of biking. He bikes every day in downtown Greensboro; he bikes for exercise or for riding 4-6 blocks to a meeting instead of getting in his car and hassling with traffic and finding a place to park. He has three bikes at HQ for members to utilize at either HQ or the Forge. At any given time, there are 5-10 bikes available for use at the Forge. Andy feels that Greensboro's downtown and the city, itself, are not complete without a finished greenway.
Greensboro native Jim Jones has spent most of his professional life in the few blocks surrounding Joymongers Brewing Co. For 25 years, he and his brother ran North State Chevrolet. Then after its sale, they developed the remaining six acres of downtown space into two Greenway apartment communities. And the beer lover that he is, Jim next partnered with Mike Rollinson and Jim's son Brian to open Joymongers. Now his new favorite activities are music and beer research!
"I have spent my professional life invested in downtown Greensboro. My partners and I recognized the intrinsic value of urban greenways long before Greensboro began theirs. This public/private venture has inspired us to create more than $30 million of new tax value in both our apartment communities and a new brewery in just the last five years. The Downtown Greenway is a home run-and it isn't even finished!"
Lookout for more 'spotlights' in the coming weeks!
Lee Comer, owner of Iron Hen Café and the new Fresh.Local.Good. Food Group, has opened a 30,000-square-foot retail multiplex in November called Morehead Foundry. The building, located along Greensboro's Downtown Greenway,
operated as a coal and ice factory when it was originally built in the 1920s. The former factory now houses 6 business spaces, all owned by Comer. Four Flocks & Larder, Revolution Burger, The Baker & The Bean, Hush (a members-only speakeasy), Carolina Event Rentals, and an event space called The Public are located at Morehead Foundry. The space offers outdoor seating and overlooks Morehead Park on the Downtown Greenway at the corner of Spring Garden and South Edgeworth Streets.
Lee talks about the importance of urban development near the Downtown Greenway: "We want Morehead Foundry to be a place that connects all types of people within Greensboro. Developing these businesses near the Downtown Greenway was very important to me because of the shared goal with the Downtown Greenway: bringing people together. The Downtown Greenway promotes a connectedness and a strong community spirit that is key as we continue to grow and advance as a city."
We look forward to making connections with Lee at Morehead Foundry and the Downtown Greenway.
Lookout for more 'spotlights' in the coming weeks!
Jeff Gauger, editor and publisher of the News & Record, writes a follow-up to an article about Atlanta writer James Fallows 11 signs of a successful city. Gauger says that there are 2 more signs to a successful city, one being that a city should have 'an appealing natural and/or infrastructure assets. And for Greensboro, that includes the many miles of trails in Greensboro, including the Downtown Greenway. Click here to read the full article.