Help Wanted!

We have two exciting work group meetings coming up as we begin to prepare for the economic transformation of our downtown. One of the groups deals with DESIGN ISSUES and the other work group focuses on ECONOMIC VITALITY. Summaries of each of the projects along with a draft Plan of Work can be found below. Please plan to attend one or both of these meetings and encourage other downtown supporters to attend as well. We will get organized around this important first steps to help us prepare for the upcoming positive changes in downtown.  

Please read the information below on the two workgroups’ planned projects and call the Downtown Alliance at 910.222.3382 (email if you have questions.


DESIGN Work Group

Wednesday, February 8th, 5 PM

Chamber of Commerce Office – 159 Maxwell Street



  • Develop/Recommend Nightclub/Entertainment Ordinance for downtown. A vibrant and exciting downtown with a thriving nightlife has been identified as an important goal for the downtown area. The City has asked that the DTA organize a group of stakeholders to review best practices from around the county and develop a draft ordinance that balances a thriving nightlife with downtown residents, businesses and visitors.


Plan of Work

  1. Review ordinances from other downtown areas.
  2. Review draft ordinance.
  3. Engage downtown stakeholders including residents, businesses, government, regulatory agencies, public safety and visitors in the process. Sponsor series of community meetings to discuss.
  4. Coordinate efforts with Microbrewery subcommittee.
  5. Work with City to finalize draft ordinance.
  6. Advocate with City leadership for approval.


  • Trash/Recycling Strategies. The trash collection situation on Old Street continues to be a visual blight and health issue in our downtown. We anticipate additional problems in the near future. In addition, recycling is not currently offered to all business and residents in the downtown. This group will work with the City and other stakeholders to develop plans to address the immediate issues and future plans to accommodate anticipated growth and demand.


Plan of Work

  1. Review current plans for Old Street trash resolution.
  2. Identify other areas in downtown that have issues with trash pickup.
  3. Identify current recycling efforts in the downtown.
  4. Engage stakeholders in review.
  5. Develop short-term solutions to immediate problems.
  6. Develop strategic solutions and incorporate into urban growth plan.
  7. Advocate with City leadership for approval.



  • Develop LED Lighting Plan for downtown area. PWC is converting traditional streetlights to LED throughout the city. This group will work with City and PWC representatives to develop an approach to test different LED lighting approaches engage stakeholders and make a final recommendation for replacement to PWC.


Plan of Work

  1. Work with PWC representatives to review their testing and implementation plans
  2. Identify best practices examples from Main Street survey responses.
  3. Create/implement plan to test.
  4. Engage stakeholders to gather feedback.
  5. Prepare final recommendation to PWC.
  6. Review other lights in downtown, identify inconsistencies, and develop next steps in LED conversion.


  • Develop tree replacement plan. We plan to replace diseased and unsightly trees in the downtown area. This group will work with the City to review existing plans, evaluate options and recommend the best plantings for an urban area, and develop a tree replacement plan for the downtown.


Plan of Work

  1. Coordinate efforts with City and City Parks & Recreation Department.
  2. Review City’s current tree replacement plan.
  3. Take visual tour of downtown and identify areas for tree replacement or plantings.
  4. Identify and prioritize tree replacement needs.
  5. Identify appropriate planting types for downtown urban areas.
  6. Engage stakeholders.




Thursday, February 9th9 am

208 Hay Street, Suite 2C, 28301

Advanced Computer Learning Company



  • Leveraging baseball stadium and related development. We will form a group of private sector representatives to join with City representatives to study other downtowns’ baseball stadiums to leverage the upcoming investment in our downtown. Project might include site visits to other downtowns.


Plan of Work

  1. Coordinate efforts between City and representatives of private sector in development of economic development plans leveraging upcoming $32 million investment in baseball stadium.
  2. Engage downtown stakeholders in the process.
  3. Identify best practice models of downtown areas with successful baseball stadiums. Coordinate site visits with City representatives.
  4. Develop list of questions that downtown businesses would like to see answered.
  5. Develop list of successful business types from the successful communities.
  6. Identify any barriers to success. (City building or zoning restrictions, etc.)
  7. Identify goals for success.
  8. Develop implementation plan.


  • Identification/gap analysis of small business support organizations for downtown businesses. There are several support organizations that are resources for downtown businesses. This group will inventory the current providers, identify the services provided, identify any overlaps and gaps, and develop clear information outlining services available to downtown businesses. 


Plan of Work

  1. Develop list of all resource providers that offer their services to downtown businesses.
  2. Identify contact information for each provider.
  3. Develop a survey letter that we will send to each provider.
  4. Identify the services they offer.
  5. Identify the niches the fill.
  6. Etc.
  7. Collect the information from the providers and prepare a matrix identifying duplicative efforts, identifying any unfilled needs
  8. Convene the group of business support providers to review matrix
  9. Brainstorm on how the niches might be filled
  10. Perhaps new city incentive programs for certain behavior
  11. Develop collateral materials for distribution to potential clients clearly identifying what support services are offered by whom.
  12. Possibly develop a network of the support service providers that would meet periodically to discuss opportunities, consider new support, etc.


  • Development of a military contractors support group to better understand their issues and needs. We have several military contractors in our downtown. This group will identify those companies, develop a process to better understand their needs and challenges, and identify ways to expand this business category in our downtown.


Plan of Work

  1. Develop list of current military contractors in the downtown area.
  2. Identify why they located in the downtown area.
  3. Identify any unique needs of this business type.
  4. Identify barriers to success. (City zoning issues, parking, eating opportunities, lack of amenities, etc.)
  5. Establish/promote network of downtown military contractors.
  6. Identify baseline economic information – # of contractors, # of employees, annual sales, etc.
  7. Develop recommendations to expand this business category in the downtown.


  • Develop plans to offer free WIFI in the district. Offering free WIFI in the downtown area has been identified as a potential competitive advantage for the downtown area. This group will work with the City and PWC to explore opportunities to offer free WIFI in the downtown.


Plan of Work

  1. Review City position statement on free WIFI.
  2. Review PWC options.
  3. Identify boundaries of district and WIFI coverage opportunities.
  4. Survey other downtowns offering free WIFI (Mainstreet List Serve)
  5. Consider sponsored options for free WIFI (airports, required brief surveys, etc.)
  6. Develop recommendations to offer free WIFI in the downtown area.


  • Develop outreach program between downtown merchants/restaurants and major employers staff members and clients. (Courthouse, hospital recently added 150 positions, BCBS call center. The downtown area is currently the home to several large employers and facilities that generate significant visiting traffic. This group will identify how downtown merchants and restaurants can reach these employees and visitors to the downtown area to increase economic impact.


Plan of Work

  1. Identify major employers in the downtown area.
  2. Develop/deliver employer survey identifying:
  3. Number of employees
  4. Details on lunch needs/opportunities
  5. Survey employees on experiences in eating/shopping downtown; awareness of downtown dining and shopping opportunities.
  6. Develop network of downtown merchants and restaurants.
  7. Identify their hours of operation.
  8. Review visual, design, walkability, and connectivity between major employers and business district.
  9. Compare needs and opportunities with current offerings.
  10. Develop recommendations to increase business opportunities between major employers and downtown business.
  11. Improve physical connectivity
  12. Refine  offerings – meal delivery, guaranteed one-hour lunch, meeting rooms
  13. Develop incentives – shopping/dining discounts for downtown employees, frequent shopping/dining programs
  14. Connect business and employee base – social media connectivity tools


  • Develop program to encourage location of micro-breweries and distilleries in the downtown area. The Main Street Market Study identified this market cluster as an important opportunity for the development of the downtown. Several downtowns across the country have been successful in these efforts. It is consistent with the vibrant nightlife called for in the AED Plans and the plans should be coordinated with the development of the Nightclub/Entertainment Ordinance.


Plan of Work

  1. Define “micro-breweries and distilleries.”
  2. Research successful best practices from across the country.
  3. Research current ABC rules/regulations for micro-breweries and distilleries.
  4. Research City rules/regulations for micro-breweries and distilleries.
  5. Document actual experiences of recent applicants in the downtown.
  6. Identify programs, policy changes, etc. that encourage development.
  7. Coordinate with Nightclub/Entertainment Ordinance subcommittee.
  8. Advocate to appropriate regulatory agencies.
  9. Develop “primer” on how to start a micro-brewery/distillery in the downtown.


Published on: 3 February
Posted by: Sam Dubose