Economic Development

We are already seeing economic development impacts with construction of just under ¾ of a mile of the Downtown Greenway.  At the beginning of this project, research showed from other communities building urban greenways that a $5–$12 return could be expected in additional private investment for every $1 that was spent on the project.  We are pleased to show that we have
exceeded expectations to date.  With $8.5 million invested to date into the project, Greensboro is enjoying over $215 million in completed and planned investment, with more projects yet to be announced.  This represents a $30 return to date. Lee Comer, Jim Jones, and Andy Zimmerman– all developers in Greensboro, share why they think it is important to build adjacent to the Downtown Greenway. Click here to see what they have to say.  We look forward to continued growth as additional sections of the Greenway are completed.


Trails and greenways have a well-established record of positively influencing community and economic development.

  • Studies in Colorado and Ohio found that properties adjacent to a local greenway and trail were valued 22% and 12%, respectively—higher than properties farther from those trails.
  • Trails in downtown Winter Garden and Dunedin, Florida, are credited with helping drive up occupancy rates and revitalize downtown areas.
  • A study of businesses along the Missouri River State Trail found that 20% of those surveyed cited the trail as influencing their decision to locate nearby.

A 2007 economic impact study for the proposed Carolina Thread Trail in Charlotte, NC, studied positive impacts from property tax revenues, recreational value, and tourism activity—and it concluded that each $1 spent on trail development will produce an additional $10 in economic impact.  In addition to its economic benefits, there are other reasons to build the Greenway.  It will be a powerful way to differentiate Greensboro and a great amenity that will provide residents, downtown workers, and visitors new opportunities for exercise and recreation.  Studies show that building near a greenway will increase property values, be a draw for businesses and residents to surrounding the greenway, and potentially boost retail sales.  We are already seeing this with the development near the Downtown Greenway. For more on the economic impact of trails, you can check out the following links: