Economic Development

Overview of Projects

  • Downtown Development / Merschel Plaza: $3,000,000
    Site development / Plaza development
  • Economic Development Sites / Infrastructure: $20,000,000
    Business parkland purchase and infrastructure
  • Revitalizing Urban Commercial Area (RUCA) Projects: $2,000,000
    Business improvement grants / loans in targeted areas
  • Total: $25,000,000

Economic Development Sites / Infrastructure

The City Council's Strategic Focus Area for Economic Vitality and Diversity includes an objective to develop and redevelop commercial business park sites. City staff, in conjunction with the Utility Commission and Winston-Salem Business, Inc, has identified potential sites where future industrial or business parks could be located, including Union Cross Business Park, Brookwood Business Park, and Whitaker Park.

The funds would be used for land purchase and site infrastructure development such as grading, water and sewer line construction, and road construction. Development of business parks has proven to be a successful tool for creating jobs and expanding the tax base.

Downtown Development / Merschel Plaza

One of the objectives under the City Council's Strategic Focus Area for Economic Vitality and Diversity focuses on the promotion of downtown revitalization. This project would provide funds for the development of new downtown office sites, research park sites, residential sites, and infrastructure including the further development of Merschel Plaza between Third and Fourth Streets near Trade Street. The park could include performance space, a public garden and park, and underground parking.

The area is popular among outdoor event producers and has hosted iconic downtown events such as the Moonlight Madness 5k and the National Black Theater Festival's Old School Party. The Trade Street Strollway/Overpass over Third Street also could be removed. As called for in the Downtown Master Plan, Downtown would become the city's "living room" where residents and visitors would enjoy music performances, festivals, and special events, as well as simply relaxing in a park-like setting.

Revitalizing Urban Commercial Area (RUCA) Projects

One of the objectives under the City Council's Strategic Focus Area for Economic Vitality and Diversity focuses on the promotion of commercial development in economically disadvantaged areas. This project would provide for site improvements to businesses in targeted urban commercial areas under the City's RUCA Program.

Funds would be used for improvements, grants, and low-interest loans to small business owners. Of the 18 originally identified commercial areas in need of redevelopment, only eight areas have been funded to date. This project would fund additional improvements in these areas or future phases of RUCA. Individual projects would require City Council approval.